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Finding your information. Hey there, time traveller! THEY tout themselves as a better alternative to turning tricks on the streets. But a report on Winnipeg's sex trade reveals brothels, massage parlours and escort agencies aren't the safe haven their owners promote them to be. A page document filed last week in a high-profile sentencing hearing — and obtained Monday by the Free Press — provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the industry.
Gene Bowers authored an expert opinion on how the "pimps" who run these businesses are really no better than those who ply their trade outdoors.
If anything, those who go underground become harder for authorities to monitor and shut down — such as the year-old Wolseley housewife who admitted last week to turning her two-storey home into a sex den while working as a leather-clad dominatrix. Both the men and women who run them use various forms of psychological manipulation in order to persuade, compel or entice persons into prostitution," Bowers wrote.
He described the mostly young women who work in this industry as "inmates" who don't necessarily realize how they're being victimized. Bowers has spent the past decade investigating crimes linked to the sex trade, which has included five other brothels previously shut down by police. He said the grooming includes forcing the young workers into having a "practice session" with the business owner to ensure they are not undercover police officers and to gain a level of control.
The brothel owner who was in court last week — known to her customers as "Sinful Sydnee" — pleaded guilty to keeping a common bawdy house. Similar charges against her husband were dropped as part of the plea deal. Her real name is under a court-ordered publication ban to protect her children. The Crown seeks a conditional sentence for the woman, while defence lawyer Evan Roitenberg has requested a period of probation.