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This article was published 9/9/2009 (2754 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Police secretly watched a Wolseley home for 13 days and nights as they gathered evidence for the rare charge of keeping a common bawdy house.
Officers with the morals unit were quietly parked outside the home and saw several escorts and a handful of male customers enter and leave the home, according to court documents obtained by the Free Press.
Police say they matched faces with copies of pictures from Internet websites of male and female escorts available through "Winnipeg's Finest Co-Op."
"Those postings contain pictures of several females going by the names of Katrina, Beki, Isis, Mirra, Sydnee and Whimsy, and a male going by the name of Remy, and provide hours of availability for each," police Det. Brad Jones wrote in a June 23 affidavit filed in provincial court.
A 45-year-old woman is accused of running a high-priced prostitution ring out of her Stiles Street home while working as a madam under the name of Sinful Sydnee. Her 53-year-old husband and four alleged employees were also charged this week. The Free Press is not naming the wife and husband to protect the identity of their young daughter, who according to police was exposed to the inner workings of the sex business and repeatedly told it was fine for women to have sex for money.
A search warrant reveals the home first came under review in January 2008 following a complaint of child abuse.
"She has an 11-year-old daughter who is aware of her occupation and is often home at times when escort service clients come over to the residence," Jones wrote. He said the alleged madam also has a 16- or 17-year-old son but it was unknown what, if anything, he may have witnessed.
Jones said police first investigated the mother 18 months earlier after an informant claimed to have heard a disturbing conversation between the woman and her daughter.
"The source had concerns... about what (she) is exposing her children to. She has overheard her telling her daughter that it is OK for women to have sex for money, that it is normal, and talking about another woman giving her husband oral sex," he said.
Police concluded their original investigation without laying any charges. But the case was reopened in May 2009 after police received new information from officers with the Manitoba Integrated Tobacco Intelligence unit.
On June 5, police say, a male customer spent two-and-a-half hours inside the home with an escort while the woman's daughter could be seen inside.
Police took their investigation to the next level on June 22 when they grabbed two alleged johns as they left the premises. A 50-year-old man told officers he had visited the brothel six times in the past year. He claimed to have paid a woman named Andrea $200 for "full service" on three occasions. His other three appointments were with Sydnee. The man said he paid her $200 for full service on one occasion and $120 for oral sex the other two times.
"He says (she) has a variety of guys and girls working out of her home. Andrea told him she provided $20 to (her) for the use of the room," Jones said.
A 55-year-old client told police he had gone to the home four times since February for Sydnee to be a dominatrix to him at the rate of $200 an hour.
Police executed a warrant on June 24, seizing numerous items related to the operation of a brothel. Police said several rooms were being rented to sex-trade workers.
Charges were laid this week. The woman and her husband are facing the rarely used charge of keeping a common bawdy house, along with living on the avails of prostitution and procuring. She was also charged with possessing a controlled substance. Three women -- two aged 19 and one 23-year-old -- and a 19-year-old man were charged with procuring. A 17-year-old male faces a drug charge. All of the accused were released on promises to appear in court.