June 6, 1996

Wendy Darroch
Toronto Star Staff Reporter

MPP off to John School:
Tory admits trying to pick up Parkdale hooker

TORONTO - Tory MPP Bill Vankoughnet has quietly admitted to trying to pick up a prostitute and will be going to "john school," The Star has learned.

Toronto lawyer Dennis Morris, acting on Vankoughnet's behalf at a court hearing yesterday, said his client asked to attend the Salvation Army program.

Johns charged with their first offence can attend the day-long sessions in return for having the charges wiped from the record.

In order to get the crown's approval to attend the school, the accused must admit to all the allegations against them.

The fact the crown's office approved Vankoughnet's participation in the john school means he has signed a diversion contract acknowledging his guilt, crown counsel Wendy Sabean said outside court.

Vankoughnet did not appear in court yesterday. Although most defendants show up for a first appearance, it's not an indictable offence so a lawyer can appear on their behalf.

Vankoughnet was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The 53-year-old MPP, who represents Frontenac-Addington near Kingston, was one of 47 people picked up by police conducting a routine "john sweep" of Parkdale on May 1.

All were charged with communicating to obtain the services of a prostitute. Vankoughnet was arrested after a man approached a female undercover officer posing as a prostitute, police said.

At the school, held the last Saturday of the month, men caught soliciting street prostitutes are lectured by police, an assistant crown attorney, a former prostitute and a health care representative.

Vankoughnet quit the Tory caucus after his arrest and said he won't return until his legal problems are cleared up. His next court date is Aug. 14.

More about the murders... [Toronto '96] [news menu] [main menu]

Created: June 26, 1996
Last modified: November 18, 1996

CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710