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UW’s Black Orchid Escort Service

A fun UW story from the time when this year’s new students were born. A man was running an Escort Service from his appartment in UWP!

Here is the university publication after the incident:

June 23, 1993 — The brief scandal of an apparent prostitution business operating in the Married Student Apartments turned into something less dramatic last week - the eviction of an illegal tenant there.

UW police said later that they aren’t trying to prosecute anyone for the operations of the “Black Orchid Escort Service”, which may have been offering sex for sale or may just have been a scam.

Information collected by the university’s police was passed on to Waterloo Regional Police, however, they said.

The man behind Black Orchid “obtained the apartment under false pretenses,” said UW’s director of information and public affairs, Martin Van Nierop, in a statement June 8.

In addition to misrepresenting himself, the individual also was trying to operate an illegal business from the apartment, Van Nierop added. Part of the lease in Married Students forbids operating a business of any kind, the UW statement said.

There was no claim that the apartment had actually been used for sexual acts. Said the statement: “As of 4 p.m. Wednesday the apartment’s locks will be changed and the individual served with the notice to vacate.” That did happen, and the occupant of the apartment was gone by 4:00 on March 9.

Van Nierop noted that Married Student Apartments are normally reserved for married students and their families, although “exceptions are made from time to time for unusual circumstances” such as “a visiting scholar at UW for legitimate academic purposes”. Van Nierop also said the individual “was last registered as a student at UW in the spring 1992 term”. He wasn’t identified in the university statement.

Black Orchid was exposed in the June 4 issue of Imprint, the student newspaper, although there had been hints in the previous week’s issue of the engineering paper Iron Warrior. Imprint said a reporter had talked to someone identifying himself as “Greg”, who represented Black Orchid. The paper also said a bank account and phone number associated with Black Orchid both belonged to a former student by that name.

Black Orchid had made itself known with purple flyers that were distributed to student housing areas around UW at the end of May. The flyers offer “oral” activity for $95, “intercourse” for $125, and “combined” for $145. Customers would deposit a stated amount of money into a bank account anonymously in advance. “The beauty of Black Orchid is that it’s perfectly legal,” a flyer said. “Because after all, you’re not paying the escort a cent directly. Essentially you’re just visiting a woman for an intimate time, something that happens thousands of times in every city. So feel free to give us a call.”

Prostitution is not against the law in Canada, but “soliciting for the purposes of prostitution” is a Criminal Code offence.

— UW Gazette

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