Pimp put behind bars

A man who ran a prostitution ring in Kelowna was sentenced to four years in jail – but most of the charges against him were dropped.

After pleading guilty to five of 14 charges he faced in February, Simon Rypiak, 35, was sentenced Wednesday.

Justice Allan Betton agreed with a joint Crown and defence submission for a four-year sentence as part of Rypiak's plea deal.

The four counts of procuring a person to provide sexual services and one count of benefitting from sexual services are related to four women who worked as prostitutes for him in Kelowna in 2015.

Following sentencing Wednesday, the Crown dropped the remaining nine charges. Two of those were procuring a person under the age of 18 to provide sexual services. Following his arrest in 2016, police said they had identified nine alleged victims, as young as 15 years old, but the charges he pleaded guilty to only related to four women who were 18 and 19.

Procuring a person under the age of 18 carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, while procuring an adult carries no minimum sentence.

Additionally, the Crown also stayed two assault charges, a sexual assault charge and a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

An agreed statement of facts referred to a “physical altercation” in a Calgary hotel room between Rypiak and a 19-year-old woman who worked for him in September 2015. The incident was her “final straw,” and as a result, she reported him to police.

While the statement did not include details of the “physical altercation,” she testified about it during a preliminary inquiry in November 2017. A publication ban on that hearing has now been lifted following sentencing.

“I had decided that I was fed up with his abuse, so I had packed up my things,” the woman testified in 2017. “He came into the room and saw that my things were packed and he got very angry.

“He had pushed me over, he was smacking my face, he eventually took his foot and was stomping on my face and my body.”

The woman spent almost a week in a Calgary safehouse following the incident before she reported Rypiak to Kelowna RCMP on Sept. 27, 2015. He was arrested and charged two days later in Kelowna. The Crown then dropped those charges in December, but he was arrested and charged again the following summer.

The woman who reported him to police told the court the seven months she spent working for Rypiak left her “extremely unstable,” and as a result, she has tried to take her own life “on several occasions.”

Rypiak was granted 12 days of credit for the time he spent in pre-sentence custody. Most offenders are eligible for full parole after serving one-third of their sentence. As a result, Rypiak should be eligible for full parole by August 2020.

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