Wednesday April 6, 1998

Gretchen Drummie

p. News 27

John jailed for robbing hooker of $20

A john winked at his hooker victim when he was lead away yesterday to serve an 11-month sentence for robbing the woman of $20 at knifepoint.

Social activists applauded the sentencing of Kirk Lunan, 27, a first offender, as a sign of change.

Prosecutor Mary Humphrey said Lunan waved the hooker over to his car in January 1996 at Sherbourne and Gerrad Sts. and they agreed to have sex for $20. After, he put a knife to her throat and demanded his money back. He took the money and told her to run. She saw Lunan about 10 times after her ordeal and , worried about the safety of other prostitutes, alerted police.

"Justice was finally done," she said. "Tonight I don't have to hide and think, 'Oh my God, he's coming to get me.' He forced me to say, "Thank you for not hurting me,' and he made me run. I kept thinking he was coming back. I saw him many times."

Justice John Jennings said Lunan "acted solely out of his contempt for the victim and a desire to exercise domination and control. The community is outraged at acts of violence visited upon relatively helpless members."

He said Lunan was acquitted of similar charges involving two other women due to identification problems.

But events such as the brutal slaying of two teen girls serves to outline how the public's perception of violence in the sex trade is still sadly behind the times, said writer June Callwood. "There was a change in attitude of the two teens killed when the public found out they were not prostitutes and it became a bigger tragedy," Callwood said in an interview. "I'm stunned that when a prostitute is killed or held at knifepoint it's less important."

She said the public should know that prostitutes are not "expendable." It's just a way of making a living. It doesn't mean you can be killed and that's okay."

Anastasia Kuzyk of the Sex Workers Alliance said those who "commit offences against prostitutes must understand we will use the system and the system is starting to respond."

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Created: April 23, 1998
Last modified: April 23, 1998

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