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Vishva Juneja, shown here leaving the Edmonton courthouse through an underground passage on Thursday, was sentenced Friday to 30 months in prison. ((CBC))

An Edmonton brothel owner was sentenced to 2½ years in prison Friday on prostitution-related charges.

Vishva Juneja, 64, was convicted in April on a number of charges, including two counts of keeping a common bawdy-house and three counts of living off the avails of prostitution. He owned Just for Men and Hustler's Men's Massage in Edmonton.

In his reasons for sentencing, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Richard Marceau said Juneja seemed to see no difference between his driving school and his massage parlours.

"There is no moral compass in this man," the judge said.  

The fact that Juneja was abusing his position of trust as a driving instructor was a major aggravating factor in sentencing, Marceau said, noting teenage girls could take lessons at the driving school.  

While there is no evidence Juneja tried to recruit underage girls, he did make an offer to an undercover officer who posed as a driving student, the judge said.

In a sentencing hearing Thursday, the Crown asked for a sentence of three to five years, while the defence suggested a conditional sentence of less than two years to be served in the community, or a custodial sentence in the range of nine to 24 months.

Outside court, Crown attorney Michelle Doyle said she was pleased with the sentence.

"In Alberta, you do not sell women and expect to get away with it with your profits, and that's what this case has demonstrated," she said.

Juneja's lawyer, Shawn Beaver, said his client was upset about having to go to prison.

"Mr. Juneja is, I guess, devastated that he's not going to be able to return to his family tonight and he looks forward to getting out as soon as he can," he said.

The sentence was lengthier than what Beaver had asked for and he told reporters it may be a matter for appeal. 

"We're going to consider our options in that regard," he said. "We'll do that over the weekend and in the first few days of next week."

The crown estimated that Juneja was grossing over $40,000 a month at the two massage parlours.