Casablanca human trafficking case: Prosecutor demands 8 years against brothel director

2014
Sint Maarten Courthouse

 

Source Today Newspaper

GREAT BAY – The public prosecutor demanded 8 years of imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 guilders against McQuincy R. the 39-year old director of the Casablanca brothel. Jessy R., 45, goes to prison for 7 years if it is up to the prosecution and she’ll have to pay also a 200,000 fine. The prosecutor wants to fine Casablanca NV an additional 30,000 guilders for fiscal fraud.

Carmen P., the 67-year old owner of the Casablanca building is facing 5 years of imprisonment and her son David E. 4 years. The court will pronounce all verdicts in two weeks, on Tuesday March 28.

The suspects have been charged with human trafficking, robbing prostitutes at the brothel of their freedom, exploitation, firearm possession and fiscal fraud.

The Casablanca trial took all day yesterday. When the court went through the file and confronted the defendants with the findings of the public prosecutor, they had an explanation for nearly everything and denied their involvement where possible.

Carmen P. wondered why she was in court at all. “I own the building but I have nothing to do with the business,” she said. “I do not advise the business.”

McQuincy R. is Casablanca’s director and Jessy R. is his assistant-manager. David E. told the court that he had come back from the United States after his father David Eustace was murdered on October 2, 2009. When he was laid to rest, current Prime Minister William Marlin and the leader of the Democratic Party, Sarah Wescot-Williams came to pay their respect.

“I came to help out, but I was never in a managerial role,” David E. told the court. “I changed a light bulb when it was necessary and I took girls to the hospital when they needed medical attention.”

McQuincy R. ddnied that he, or anyone else in the business had limited the freedom of movement of the girls who worked at Casablanca. “At night the key to the front door was in the bar and they all had a swipe card for the emergency exit.”

McQuibncy R., who did most of the talking during the hearing, also denied abuse or exploitation. Asked why the company hired foreign and not local girls, the director said that it was not allowed to employ locals in his business. “They come to us; they apply via Facebook or Whatsapp from abroad. I never ill-treated any of the girls. The job is hard enough.”

Foreign prostitutes have to pay Casablanca in advance 25,000 pesos to cover the price of their return ticket. After that they still have to pay $950, money they earn in the first week of their stay, McQuincy R. said, adding that this money does not go to the company but to the government. “we pay all the fees in advance, because they have to be paid within one week. Otherwise the girls are not allowed to work,” he said.

When the public prosecutor noted that all the tips the girls received were found in his possession, McQuincy R. answered: “You did not find tips; you found change. At weekends I have maybe $5,000 in singles. Customers change that money and the girls change it back.”

Mcquincy R. denied firearm possession, saying that he has never had a gun and that he once applied for a permit and did not get it.

Most of the weapons were found in a house in Ebenezer where Jessy R. lived with her friend Leo Peterson. The latter was sentenced for firearm possession in January to 24 months of imprisonment with 12 months conditional. Jessy R. said that her friend has a hunting license. “He hunts, that’s all I know,” she said.

David e. denied knowledge of a weapon being present in Casablanca. Confronted with a text message that suggests the opposite he told the court that that was “a joke.”

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