Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Jane Gadd

p. A11.

Escort agency knew women were HIV-positive

An Etobicoke escort agency with hundreds of clients knowingly sent out women who were HIV-positive to provide sexual services, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Mark Lukacko, 32-year-old manager of the agency that operated under the names Sweet Sensations and Exotica, went on trial in Ontario Superior Court on charges of living off the avails of prostitution.

Among the exhibits to be entered by the Crown, which are uncontested by the defence, are dozens of "recipe cards" with information on the escorts' vital statistics, nationalities and the sexual acts they would or would not perform, prosecutor Calvin Barry said.

Three of the cards have notations on the back indicating the woman described had tested positive for the AIDS virus, he said.

Women who worked for the agency were expected to provide their own condoms, according to a female undercover police officer who testified that she tricked the agency into hiring her as a prostitute in February, 1997.

The officer, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, said that during her two month investigation she saw women picked up by agency drivers all over the city and taken to hotels or residences for visits of half an hour or one hour.

She testified she answered an advertisement in NOW magazine and was hired over the phone after giving the stage name Ashley and describing herself as brunette, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with measurements of 36A-26-35.

A woman who handled phones at the agency outlined the job:

  • She would be picked up by an agency driver and taken to her clients;
  • If she wanted to know the specific sex acts the man wanted, she would have to call him herself beforehand;
  • She would be paid $80 an hour or $65 a half-hour;
  • The driver would wait outside until he received a call on his pager letting him know she was all right and had the money in her hand;
  • If she did not respond within 15 minutes when the agency called her for a "date," she had to pay $30.

The officer testified that she was given a credit-card swiper to carry with her. "I kept if hidden under my coat," she said.

Mr. Barry said the agency's client list, which contains hundreds of names, will be entered an exhibit later in the trial.

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Created: March 28, 2000
Last modified: January 31, 2001
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