A Surrey couple has been found guilty of unlawful confinement in the case of a quadriplegic man who sought to hire the woman for sex on New Year’s Day, 2018, but then changed his mind.
Justice Frits Verhoeven convicted common-law couple Jeremy Sean Eddy and Jacqueline Lee Peintinger of that crime in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster but found them not guilty of robbery, extortion, threatening and assault.
The court heard Peintinger was an escort advertising as “Nina” on a website and operating out of a coach house in the couple’s backyard. The victim, who name has not been disclosed, made arrangements to “utilize her services,” at $1,800 for 24 hours, agreeing to pay via PayPal. But there were problems with payment for lack of a WIFI signal.
The court heard the man, afflicted with cerebral palsy since birth and confined to a wheelchair, wanted a “date” for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, specifically a sexual experience with two women and that Peintinger used a “special-purpose” bedroom in a converted detached garage in the backyard of the residence which she and her boyfriend rented.
When the victim arrived on New Year’s Eve, Eddy answered the door. The victim had not expected to see a man there. He testified Peintinger didn’t look like her website photos. There was also a second man there, named Vic. Uncomfortable, the victim changed his mind about the date and began to wheel away. He told the court Peintinger yelled, “Why are you running away” and told him “I passed up a lot of clients to be with you tonight.”
Fearful, he returned. Meanwhile, the other men were busy trying to construct a ramp so he could get into the bedroom with his wheelchair.
“As Mr. Eddy explained, the wheelchair was heavier than he and Vic expected,” Verhoeven noted. “The conditions were not ideal, as it was cold and snowy out. The board they were trying to use was slick.”
They eventually carried him in, laid him on the bed and left.
The other woman, Charlene or Char, arrived at the main house, where the two women socialized, leaving the victim alone.
“At this point, he had definitely decided that he did not want to proceed with the sexual encounter,” the judge noted. “However, he had not actually said this or that he wanted to leave, at this point.”
The victim decided to fake a seizure, hoping Peintinger and Eddy would call an ambulance. He rolled off the bed and hit the floor, injuring his lip and forehead. According to the victim, Peintinger asked him if he could make the PayPal transfer, he replied he couldn’t, she didn’t believe him, and became angry.
The victim was moved to the main house, where Charlene handed him a mobile phone and he made the PayPal transfer. The court heard Peintinger had not yet set up her side of the transaction, and therefore it was not yet complete. Once she did, the court heard, she accessed her newly created account eight times but was not able to confirm the $1,800 transfer.
Meantime, in the late afternoon of Jan. 1 the victim’s increasingly worried parents went to his apartment, checked his iPod, noted the 3 a.m. transaction and called their daughter, a police officer. She came to the apartment, saw the text messages and address, and called the Surrey RCMP.
An Emergency Response Team went to the couple’s house that night and arrested Eddy. Charlene died several days later of a drug overdose, the court heard.
“The plain fact is,” Verhoeven noted in his reasons for judgment, that the victim “was left largely unattended in the bedroom for many hours. The agreement was for a 24-hour ‘date,’ but, as he says, the date never really happened.”