Police set up sting for man accused of pimping his stepdaughter

Court hears testimony from undercover officer who arranged with stepfather to have teen attend a stag party

Arranging his teenage stepdaughter on a date for a stag party is how RCMP came to arrest a Penticton man accused of being a pimp.

On Friday in Penticton provincial court, an undercover RCMP officer provided details regarding the investigation into the stepfather that led to 10 charges being laid on him including sexual assault, living off the avails of prostitution and an adult or guardian procuring sexual activity.

It was during a sting on the afternoon of July 22 last year that an undercover officer approached the stepfather, whose name is under publication ban in order to protect the teen’s identity. One of the undercover officers involved in the operation testified that an arrangement was made for the teen to show up to a bachelor party at a hotel. The officer said a date was made through her stepfather that for $300 there would be some sexual activity with the groom and possibly a few other guys. The stepfather said they could meet at 8 p.m. that evening at the Gyro Park bandshell.

Shortly after the verbal exchange took place, the stepfather was arrested at a bus stop located on Martin Street at Orchard Avenue. Several witnesses during the trial last week indicated the area was commonly known as a place where sex-trade workers conducted business.

That same day RCMP tracked down the teenage girl, told her that the stepfather had been arrested and asked her to come to the RCMP detachment to provide a statement. The officer conducting the interview with the teen described a girl that was guarded and uncomfortable.

“You could tell she wasn’t functioning as a normal female her age,” said the officer. “For lack of a better word, she was a vacant person. She wasn’t actively engaging me and would not make eye contact with me. I liken it to a shy animal.”

The officer also went to the Stardust Inn, where the girl was staying with her mother and stepfather. Upon explaining what was happening to the teen’s mother, she responded that she had no idea what was going on. The officer received a phone call from the mother later that evening stating the teen informed her of a sexual relationship between the girl and her stepfather.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel James Pennington, the undercover officer said during the exchange with the stepfather there was no talk of intercourse or oral sex. The undercover officer said they talked about foreplay and that the girl would stay at the party for several hours.

The Crown rested its case on Friday but the trial is expected to resume with the defence calling witnesses to testify. They are expected to return on Wednesday to fix a date to continue the trial.