Elderly widower ripped off by sex worker
This could be a story about fraud. But it's mostly about one man's folly.
"Foolishness," admits John Stevenson. "A lonely old man's foolishness."
He's 69, widowed, a semi-retired businessman and now more than $20,000 poorer for the love lust of a predatory woman. She bilked him good, his eyes wide shut.
The cautionary tale and that's why he's telling it, as a warning to others begins last spring when Stevenson's brother gave him a computer for his birthday. His wife of 35 years had succumbed to cancer the previous year and Stevenson acknowledges that he pined for female companionship. Younger friends, hipper to the ways of modern dating, suggested he go on Craigslist, the wildly popular online classifieds site.
Stevenson logged on to the "erotic services" category of the site and came across an ad that tweaked his interest: 43-year-old Oriental woman, photo attached, promising "exotic-enjoyable-friendship."
This, of course, is personals ad code for sex, Craigslist a notorious emporium for online-generated prostitution. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, has described Craigslist as "pimping and prostitution in plain sight." In April, a Boston University medical student was charged in the slaying of a woman who'd placed an ad offering erotic massage. It's being called the "Craigslist Murder." The accused, believed to have targeted women through the site, has also been charged with pulling a gun on another "masseuse" in a motel room and is being investigated in the attempted robbery of a stripper who was held at gunpoint.
Stevenson was not aware of Craigslist's burgeoning reputation as a flesh market, but he was no babe in the woods either. "I'm not a slowpoke in the head. I figured she was a prostitute. But it's not like I was looking for a lasting relationship. I hadn't been with a woman since my wife died. I was looking for a good time and, yes, sex."
He contacted the woman Erlinda and she promptly invited herself over to his lakefront Toronto apartment.
"The first thing she does is pull up her top. She had beautiful breasts."
They had sex. Afterwards, she asked for $100. He told her: "You've got to take at least $160."
Bingo. Here was a sucker.
The next morning she called and asked to use his shower. They got together again and so it went, though he no longer paid her expressly for sex. In their own fashion, Stevenson says, they dated went to the track, to bars, for long drives in her Volkswagen convertible.
"I was hooked. I felt like a teenager."
He constantly gave her money. "But we weren't really having much sex."
Erlinda told him she was 43 and single, working as a bartender at a strip club near the airport. She was actually, as he would later discover, in her mid-50s and a stripper who went by the stage name China Doll (though she was Filipino), with three grown children.
A 50-something stripper boggles the mind, but Stevenson saw her perform once. This was after she told him she was switching from bartending to peeling, if he would pay the $300 for her licence, which he did, plus $150 for "stripper high heels."
Stevenson still can't explain how it all happened, but he was suddenly shelling out large for her plethora of debts and needs. "I may have thought that I was in love with her, or she was in love with me. Maybe I thought I couldn't do anything to save my wife when she was dying, but here was someone I could help. I wanted to be a hero."
Moneybags, more like, even as friends warned he was being used.
It started with $575 for her insurance agent, $750 for a washer-dryer, $650 for car repairs, $2,350 for mortgage payments, $2,850 for lawyer fees, $1,300 for outstanding hydro bills.
Between last June and April, Stevenson ponied up $20,000-plus. "I expected to be repaid eventually."
And they were arguing all the time, Erlinda flying off the handle and berating him publicly, threatening at one point to tell police he'd kidnapped her. Stevenson claims he tried to disentangle himself, told Erlinda he was too old for her, but she kept calling and coming over. He took back his apartment keys. Finally, with his business partner as backup, Stevenson met Erlinda and told her to leave him alone, forever. "That was the last I saw of her."
He's sent letters to her lawyer, demanding repayment, and received no answer. He's considering filing a suit in small claims court. He sees little point in complaining to police. "It's probably not fraud, is it? She didn't steal the money from me. She just took advantage of a vulnerable old man."
But he's heard from at least one other man who was similarly used as a sugar daddy by Erlinda.
Last month, Craigslist announced it was dropping its "erotic services" category in response to pleas from law enforcement agencies, replacing it with an "adult services" listing requiring an additional fee from clients and promising employees will "monitor" every posting before it appears online.
Too late for Stevenson, who will never go near the site again. He's mortified and totally dating-shy now.
"I'm bitter. I feel whipped and beaten."
That would probably have cost him extra.
Erlinda might not be the nicest person on the planet but Stevenson was entirely the architect of his own misfortune - no sympathy for him, sorry.
I don't think that he was bilked at all that badly. Their relationship lasted about a year and it cost him $20000. Assuming that they had sex 100 times, it cost him $200 each time, not exorbitant for an escort in Toronto.
Very true. I know people who've had sex with the same sp over 100 times & paid for the most part of it. But i've never heard them complain about spending so much $$ on just one woman alone. HDH rates on top of that & they had sex every single time they met. And no, i'm not referring to Ponpon (who also used the fictitious name "Roger" in the JDMTL article) & his former atf.
Originally Posted by anon_vlad
Last edited by Doc Holliday; 06-03-2009 at 12:17 PM.
No sympathy for a guy who has lost his wife of 35 years a year ago and was probably sitting there thinking he's going to be alone and without intimacy for the rest of his life ? Wow, that's cold.
Originally Posted by joelcairo
Yeah Erlinda needed to take lessons from Coralie.
Originally Posted by anon_vlad
I hate these stories. Poor bastard.
Doubt it, but who knows. Le Journal de Mtl has already covered this type of story. And fairly well, i may add.
Originally Posted by jeff jones
Okay you've convinced me to feel sorry for his stupid and lecherous behavior. I guess the fact that he's the only person in history who ever lost someone gave him an excuse. Shit, maybe he also has a hangnail or even stomach flu. I take it all back. My sympathies go out.
Originally Posted by Time to Punt
I don't think any of us is in a position to judge anyone in this sad tale. We simply don't know all the facts, only what we read. But, it can serve as a cautionary tale for everyone. Even the term "ripped off" could be termed as spurious.
Last edited by CS Martin; 06-03-2009 at 09:15 PM.