A Surrey sex worker and her husband have been convicted of unlawful confinement in the case of a disabled man who wanted a threesome with the woman and another sex worker.
Prosecutors argued Jeremy Sean Eddy and Jacqueline Lee Peintinger planned to take advantage of a vulnerable person, called A.B. in court documents, but BC Supreme Court Justice Frits Verhoeven disagreed.
“She intended to provide services as agreed. She had made arrangements to do so. That is how she makes her living,” Verhoeven said in the April 30 ruling posted online May 6. “I accept that Ms. Peintinger knew that A.B. had some level of disability and used a wheelchair. She was not against providing services to a disabled person. I accept that when A.B.’s degree of disability became clear she still intended to proceed.”
The Jan. 1, 2018, incident left A.B. with minor injuries.
Eddy and Peintinger were also charged with but acquitted of robbery, extortion, threatening, and common assault related to events which unfolded after A.B. sought Pentinger’s services online.
Verhoeven noted Peintinger was aware A.B. was handicapped but not the full degree of his quadriplegia.
“He has some mobility from the waist up, only,” Verhoeven said. “He has very limited ability to use his hands. He uses a motorized wheelchair for mobility. He is unable to get into or out of his motorized wheelchair without assistance.”
A.B. was willing to spend $1,800 for 24 hours with the two women.
He arrived late at the house to find two other men there. He began to leave but an effort was made to build a ramp into a converted garage Peintinger used for her sex work. When the ramp-building failed, Eddy carried A.B. in and laid him on a bed.
An attempt was made for A.B. to pay via PayPal but the Wi-Fi was intermittent. At this point, the other prostitute, Charlene, arrived and Peintinger spent 45 minutes in the house with her, leaving A.B. alone.
A.B. decided he’d had enough and thought faking a seizure would make them take him to hospital. He rolled off the bed and injured his lip and forehead, receiving abrasions. He asked to be taken to hospital, which Eddy and Peintinger later denied he’d asked. Instead, they moved him into a bedroom in the main house.
At this point, threats began over payment. A.B. also testified Peintinger had threatened to claim that he’d raped her.
By 3 a.m., A.B. had used Charlene’s Blackberry to transfer the funds – although Peintinger’s PayPal account had not been set up yet.
Shortly after, Charlene passed out near the bedroom door and paramedics arrived. A.B. was on the bed several feet away mouthing the words, “Help me,” too afraid to speak up in case the others heard him.
“He states that the paramedic did not look at him,” Verhoeven’s ruling said, adding there was no reliable evidence paramedics attended.
About an hour later, A.B. offered to call a family member to bring the money and called his father. Eddy and Peintinger denied they had demanded money as a condition of allowing A.B. to leave.
Meanwhile, A.B.’s worried parents had gone to his apartment. They saw his iPad with arrangements for the date as well as the PayPal transaction and called their daughter, a police officer, who reported him missing to RCMP.
“His parents and sister all testified that he sounded anxious and frightened on the telephone, in sharp contrast to his usual cheerful self,” Verhoeven wrote.
Shortly after, a police emergency response team arrived at the house. A.B. was taken to hospital and Eddy was arrested. Charlene died several days later of a drug overdose.
Verhoeven said despite Peintinger’s assertions, no sexual activity took place. Verhoeven said evidence indicates that for most of the period, she was using heroin or methamphetamine.
The PayPal payment was reversed.