Hypnotic gentlemen’s club. (File photo)
PHILIPSBURG–The operator of Hypnotic gentlemen’s club in Sucker Garden is banned from entering and visiting any other sex club on the island, the Judge decided Wednesday on the Prosecutor’s request.
M.J.P. (42) is suspected of trafficking 27 women from Venezuela, Colombia and the Dominican Republic between January 1 and October 24, 2016. She is also suspected of trafficking and exploiting 23 other women at Casa Blanca brothel between January 2015 and November 16, 2015.
M.J.P., whose partner is currently involved with the operation of Defiance Haven, is accused of exploiting the women working under her management. The women allegedly had to work under very bad labour conditions and had to hand over a substantial part of their income.
“The suspect abused her position of power and the women’s vulnerable position to exploit them and locked them up at night,” the Prosecutor said.
Attorney Jairo Bloem called on the Court for a postponement of the Court hearing due to medical reasons. The lawyer said he had had insufficient time to prepare his client’s case as he had been suffering of bronchitis, while his client has postnatal depression.
The defendant left the courtroom three times for brief intervals, but the Prosecutor expressed his doubts about the severity of the medical complaints, which, he said, seem to be used by the defence to delay the handling of this case.
The Prosecutor called for a ban on M.J.P. visiting other adult clubs, because her partner may be running Defiance Haven, “but it cannot be otherwise than that she’s also having a big say in this club’s management,” he said.
The suspect is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing, constantly looking for the limits. She is guilty of human-trafficking and illegal employment. She does not give a rap about the police, justice and the law,” the Prosecutor said in explaining why he deemed it necessary to prevent the woman from interfering “directly or indirectly” with any of St. Maarten’s 12 adult entertainment centres. “The exploitation of prostitutes needs to stop now,” he said.
The Prosecutor said prostitution is legal in St. Maarten and that the Prosecutor’s Office only comes into action when exploitation or other criminal activities are taking place. “I want to send a signal that the defendant cannot continue meddling in other clubs,” he said.
Attorney Bloem was against a ban, which he said was based on the presumption that his client would be involved with other clubs.
The defendant denied this. “I have been home with my baby and that is it,” she told the Judge.
In the end, the Judge decided to impose the requested ban.
He postponed the hearing of this case until January 18, 2018.