This is the article that blew the lid off of UW’s Black Orchid Escort Service back in 1993:
June 4, 1993 — “Black Orchid” operating prostitution service on campus
by Jeff Warner, Imprint Staff
A small prostitution service is currently using the Married Student Appartments to service it’s clients, according to a information received by Imprint.
Two weeks ago, a number of flyers were distributed to houses on Lester st. and to the Phillip Stree Townhouses, advertising for “Black Orchid Escort Service.” The flyers included a detailed account of the operation and a price list for services of “oral,” “intercourse,” and “combined.” Monetary deposits were to be made to a bank account in advance of the appointment. Imprint has discovered that Black orchid employs a room in the Married Student Apartments.
The ad claims that the service is “perfectly legal” since the client does not pay the escort directly. Instead, the client deposits an exact amount to a previously-arranged bank account number. It also asked for any women interested in “a well paying, flexible job” to call Black Orchid. Both an electronic mail account and a phone number were provided, with specific hours for the phone number.
Under section 213 of the Canadian Criminal Code, solicitation for the purpose of prrostitution in a public place is illegal. Procuring a person for the purpose of prostitution is also illegal., as stated in the Criminal code, section 212.
“The legal codes of Ontario and Canada” apply across the campus, and any illegal activities must be investigated” by the authorities,” says Ron Eydt, the Director of Housing at UW.
Reaction from authorities have been mild so far. Detective Downey of the Waterloo Regional Police refused to confirm or deny whether they were investigating the service, though he acknowledged that they “were aware” of the flyer.
Sergeant Wayne Shortt of Campus Police, when contacted Tuesday, questioned wheteher or not any criminal activity was going on. “At this point in time, there doesn’t seem to be anything illegal about it.” he stated. “Because prces have been advertised, it doesn’t make [Black Orchid’s operation] illegal at this point.”
Shortt did not know of that a university residence was involved. “You probably have more knowledge of that than we have at this point, anyway,” he said, adding that “…big brother is watching.”
However, Director of Security Al Mackenzie later stated that they were investigating the service, and considered it illegal. Because of the number of “unknowns” involved, he refused to speculate on where the investigation will lead to.
According to the flyer, clients could contact either the e-mail address or phone number for an appointment. The “type” and time of the service desired would be requested from the caller, who would be given the exact amount to deposit in a specified bank account. The deposit would include a set amount to show Black Orchid who had paid for their appointment. Over the phone, Imprint learned that three women were available, between “university age” and “mid-twenties,” and that the appointments would take place in an apartment of the east tower at the Married Student Apartments.
According to information received by e-mail, five people were involved, including the management, operator, and escorts. Black Orchid claimed to separate the advertising, marketing and other duties from those of the escort, and to provide its own quarters in a “local high rise.” The message also extolled the benefits of working for Black Orchid.
Contacting Black Orchid by phone about “employment,” an Imprint staff member was told that the job would entail “physical contact.” The appointments were to last “no more” than half an hour, and Black Orchid had its “own appartment” that they lease.
Escorts were expected to “initiate contact” if the client did not start things.
On Tuesday, the staff member met the Black Orchid phone operator to pose as a potential Black Orchid employee. The operator had previously identified himself as “Greg.”
“Greg” claimed that he was not really running things, and did not live in the Married Students Appartments. He took responsibility for the delivery of the original flyers, and stated that he planned another two distributions to an estimated 600 people.
Concerning the nature of the work, “Greg” stated that “it’s not easy, but it does get easier.” Employee safety would, in part, be ensured by condom use and the anonymity of the service. Prospective employees “gotta understand what we mean [in the flyer],” he said.
Imprint traced the bank account, phone number, and e-mail address. The e-mail address, accessible by any person with an account at the university, is operated by an anonymous file server in Finland. The server does not allow either the sender or the receiver to learn the other’s identity.
According to James Black, the Director of the Math Computing Facility, the Universty has “zero probablity of affecting” the e-mail address. There are, however, “policies in place related to ethical conduct,” and there are precendents for intervention and locking accounts “for all types of behaviour.” He stressed that he had no evidence of anyone at Waterloo abusing their computing priveleges.
Both the phone number in the flyer and the bank account given to prospective clients were registered to a Greg D. Nikolic. The Registrar’s Office stated that Nikolic was last registered in UW’s Math faculty in May of 1992.
“Typical clients,” according to “Greg”, are University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier students, including some staff members, whom he referred to as “pretty decent people.” In his conversation with the Imprint staff member, “Greg” referred to the lack of sexual experience clients had, claiming most were engineering and math students.
“Greg” also said that Black Orchid was still setting up the apartment, as they had “picked it up a few days ago,” though it was already furnished. “It’s a pretty new aganecy, only a couple of months old,” he said, stating that its aim was the creation of a client base for the fall.
When an Imprint staff member showed up for a previously arranged “appointment” at the Married Students Apartment to verify the Black Orchid’s business intentions, he was met by “Greg,” who informed him that the escort had backed out. “Greg” offered to refund the money to a bank account or schedule another appointment.
Black Orchid could not be reached later for comment.
The article in its original context can be found here