charged: Susana Mendez Lebron, above, and Juana Mercedes Ramiriz Evans, below, leave the San Fernando Magistrates' Court yesterday. —Photos: INNIS FRANCIS

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3 Dominicans held for prostitution

By Innis Francis

A Special Branch sergeant testified yesterday in the trial of three Dominican Republic women charged with soliciting for the purpose of prostitution.

The women, Patricia Sandoval Orejuela, 42, Susana Mendez Lebron, 34, and Juana Mercedes Ramiriz Evans, 38, were arrested on August 30 and are before the San Fernando Magistrates' Court.

The women have pleaded not guilty.

Sergeant Alister Gervero testified that around 3 p.m. that day, he was at the Tokyo Hotel and Bar at St James Street, San Fernando, when he saw the three women at different intervals approach male patrons entering the establishment and offer themselves for money in the sum of $250, $300 and $250 respectively.

Gervero said he monitored the women over a 20-minute interval, from different parts of the hotel.

He said because he could not speak Spanish, he contacted Sergeant Thompson of the Special Branch who could speak the language, and the women were arrested and detained at the San Fernando Police Station.

Attorney Subhas Panday, who is representing, the women told Magistrate Alicia Chankar, said the elements of the offence had not been proven.

He said the greater offence was the person who was running the brothel, but the officer did not see it fit to arrest such persons.

Court prosecutor Russell Ramoutar said the evidence given by Gervero was sufficient for the case to go forward.

Magistrate Chankar said the offence the women were charged with, was creating a problem and she needed time to examine the law.

The matter was adjourned to December 19.

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