Woman used as bait in escort scam pleads guilty to robbery charge

A Red Deer woman offered as the lure in an escort scheme will be sentenced in March after pleading guilty to a single count of robbery. Lindsey Rae Mazzei, 32, and two male suspects were arrested in B.C. on June 13, 2013, as the result of an investigation of complaints in Red Deer that men attempting to hire escort services were beaten and robbed instead.

A Red Deer woman offered as the lure in an escort scheme will be sentenced in March after pleading guilty to a single count of robbery.

Lindsey Rae Mazzei, 32, and two male suspects were arrested in B.C. on June 13, 2013, as the result of an investigation of complaints in Red Deer that men attempting to hire escort services were beaten and robbed instead.

Mazzei was set for trial on eight charges by judge alone in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday, represented by defence counsel Patty MacNaughton.

However, a charge of armed robbery was reduced to robbery and other charges, including extortion, kidnapping and identity theft, were withdrawn as a result of her last-minute guilty plea.

Reciting an agreed statement of facts, Crown prosecutor Carolyn Ayre told Justice Kirk Sisson that a visiting businessman was looking for escort services while staying at a Red Deer hotel on June 12, 2013.

He phoned a number that he found online and arranged to meet with a woman at a downtown apartment building.

On his way there, the victim withdrew $500 from a banking machine, expecting to pay $300 for the services he had arranged.

A woman met him at the building’s fire escape, but she then left and two masked and armed men appeared, said Ayre.

He was robbed of his wallet, cellphone, bank cards, cash and car keys, and forced to give up the PIN numbers on his cards, she said.

Mazzei confirmed for Sisson that she had disposed of the cellphone and told him she also got rid of the cards.

Sentencing was adjourned to March 6 to allow time for preparation of a pre-sentence report.

She was released from custody earlier.

Also arrested with Mazzei were Florian Edward Poitra, of Innisfail, and Mark William Bitterman, of no fixed address.

Poitra, 32, was sentenced to four years after pleading guilty to his role in the escort scheme on Oct. 13, 2013.

Bitterman, 32, is awaiting trial on the charges.

Bitterman is also scheduled for a preliminary hearing in January on a charge of first-degree murder. The charge was laid after Bitterman’s arrest in B.C. by Red Deer RCMP investigating the death of former Eckville resident Curtis Leroy Rangen, 43.

Rangen’s body was found in a freezer at his Red Deer apartment on May 3, 2013.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

Red Deer city council could provide more clarity around closed-door meetings, says review

Confidential matters were found to be handled appropriately by city

Special lift improves Lacombe patients’ therapy

A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital… Continue reading

Red Deer group is pushing to create a local ‘international village’ to promote unity

A city made up of immigrants has no place for intolerance, say group members

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read