Home Canadian News Military police won’t charge sex worker for alleged uniform use

Military police won’t charge sex worker for alleged uniform use

Military police won’t charge sex worker for alleged uniform use

“This (threat of a charge) is something that genuinely affected me.”

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Canadian military police have decided not to charge a sex worker who they alleged had unlawfully used army uniforms.

Police had threatened in December to charge Kingston-area sex worker Christina Lea Gilchrist, who offers discounts to Canadian soldiers for her services. They alleged Gilchrist broke the law with the “unlawful use of military uniforms,” citing photographs on her website in which she was shown wearing what appeared to be Canadian camouflage uniforms known as CADPAT.

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In addition, senior leaders at CFB Kingston also warned troops to stay away from the woman, who described herself as “a military fetishist.”

But, in a new message to the 32-year-old Gilchrist, military police now say that they have concluded the investigation and that no charges would be laid. “I will remind you, CADPAT uniforms are accountable items, and, if you have any authentic uniforms in your possession, even if they were purchased from a surplus store or gifted to you, they should be returned to the Canadian Armed Forces,” Master Corporal Harrison Swinson of 2 Military Police Regiment, Kingston Detachment wrote in a Feb. 14 email.

Gilchrist told this newspaper she was happy with the outcome. “I am very relieved. I feel a boulder has been taken off my chest. This (threat of a charge) is something that genuinely affected me.”

Gilchrist, who offers 25-per-cent discounts to Canadian Forces personnel, pointed out she had repeatedly stated in her advertising that she was not nor had never been a member of any military.

To lay a charge would have required Canadian military police to prove Gilchrist was actually using Canadian Forces-issued uniforms and not one of the many commercially produced copies of Canadian military camouflage pants and jackets that are available.

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Gilchrist told this newspaper the mid-December warnings that CFB Kingston military commanders gave to troops to stay away from her backfired. As a result of the military highlighting her presence in the area, she has received multiple messages from military personnel interested in her services.

In addition, after the article about military police threatening to charge her was published in this newspaper in January, her website received 70,000 unique visits over just a couple of days. Military police efforts aimed at Gilchrist also prompted coverage from media outlets in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Prosecution involving individuals wearing military uniforms are rare in Canada and those that have gone forward have focused on individuals who were specifically masquerading as Canadian soldiers.

In 2015, a man from Cantley, Que., pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawfully wearing a military uniform and medals. He was spared jail and given a suspended sentence with one year of probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

Another imposter was arrested by military police in November 2011, but not before the Winnipeg man attended several Canadian Forces’ functions and was profiled in a local newspaper in full military uniform as a soldier heading to the Afghan war.

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Although he faced a maximum sentence of six months in jail, lawyers recommended that he be spared a criminal record. The judge agreed and the young man was given a discharge because his motives were not deemed malicious.

Canadian military uniforms and medals are readily available from sellers online and surplus stores throughout the country.

David Pugliese is an award-winning journalist covering Canadian Forces and military issues in Canada. To support his work, including exclusive content for subscribers only, sign up here: ottawacitizen.com/subscribe

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