Sex trafficking “madam” gets 15 years

Victims rescued in police raid

Colombian citizen Melaines Hernández who headed a network on Avenida 12 de October dedicated to trafficking women for sexual exploitation has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The sentence was imposed by Judge Vilma Urieta in the 15th Criminal Court.

In a ruling dated October 5, Judge Urieta acquitted Hernandez’s nephew, Jhon Freider Lemus, and ordered his release.

The judge made the decision after analyzing the evidence presented by the Public Ministry, which showed that Hernandez contacted Venezuelans, Colombians, Cubans, and Panamanians, whom she later hired as “escort ladies”.

According to the investigation, initiated in 2015 by the Prosecutor against Organized Crime, the network contacted its victims through advertisements in newspapers, then did not let them leave the apartment and forced them to have sex with five clients, daily charging $50. for each, of which $20 was for them.

The investigation found a list of conditions that the victims had to comply with, such as informing their location at all times, getting up at 7:00 am and arranging the apartment to be available for clients.

Sanctions were imposed on those who violated rules:  a $20 fine and prohibition of exits.

The network advertised its services in social networks, in which each of the girls had to publish a profile with details of their services and the address where they could be contacted.