For University of Calgary students contemplating a career as an escort, the position is officially no longer available. On Tue., Nov. 5, following a covert sting investigation, Calgary Police Vice Detectives arrested 26 year-old Quong Chi Trinh of Calgary in connection with the "Escorts Wanted" posters found on university poster boards in early October. Trinh, who was arrested in the downtown area, is charged with one count of attempting to procure a person for prostitution, one count of aiding and abetting in prostitution and one count of communicating for the purpose of prostitution.
When the Gauntlet first broke the story on October 10, the Calgary Police Vice Unit developed a serious interest in the case, specifically in the content of the initial e-mail communication between the Gauntlet and the alleged recruiter.
"The Vice Unit was concerned with the fact that someone was attempting to recruit students," said Vice Detective Cam Brooks. "Because of the potentially exploitive nature of the communication, we were obviously very interested in pursuing the matter."
Since our initial contact with Calgary Police, the Gauntlet staff has been in close contact with Vice Unit Detectives to provide assistance in their investigation to identify the person or persons responsible for hanging the now infamous posters.
"We are grateful for the Gauntlet in coming forward with vital information that was critical to the success of our investigation," commented Detective Brooks.
During the Vice Squad's investigation, which spanned several weeks, questions as to Trinh's student status quickly arose. Given that the posters were displayed on the U of C campus, both Calgary Police and the Gauntlet wondered whether the alleged perpetrator might himself be a student. Although at this time neither Calgary Police nor the Gauntlet can outright confirm or deny whether Trinh in fact was a student, it is believed that he may have been attending SAIT.
"During our investigation, some of the places he was talking about lead us to suspect that he was a student," said Detective Brooks. "Although I have my suspicions, at this point we don't know for sure."
When contacted in regards to the student status of Trinh, SAIT representatives would not confirm nor deny his enrollment, citing issues with their enrollment records.
In a related case, Calgary firefighter Douglas Henry Eastaugh, 37, was arrested by Calgary Police on Sat., Oct. 26. Eastaugh, who was associated with Calgary's Liaisons Escort Agency, is charged withfour counts of procuring a person for the purpose of prostitution, four counts of living off the avails of prostitution, one count of being the keeper of a common bawdy house and one count of threats to cause death or bodily harm.
Trinh, according to Vice Detective Brooks, is alleged to have been an employee of Eastaugh and the Liaisons Agency.
"Whether or not Trinh and Eastaugh were connected in any way is one of a number of questions which will be addressed as part of our investigation," commented Detective Brooks.
Trinh has been released from jail awaiting his next court appearance. A trial date has not yet been set.
The U of C Students' Union was relieved to hear that an arrest had been made in the case.
"With the rise in tuition rates, people seemed to be looking to find other financing options," said Vice-President Operations and Finance Robbie White. "Obviously [the escort business] wasn't the best idea though, and fortunately now that option is no longer available, at least on campus."
SAIT and U of C Campus Security officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.