Suspect claims innocence in imprisoned teen prostitute case
Eight men suspected of having sex with an underage prostitute being held trapped in the cellar of a flat in Schiedam are appearing in the court in Rotterdam on Friday.
The 16 year old girl was being held captive in a cellar while her boyfriend, the pimp, and three of his friends offered her as prostitutes on sex sites. The case come to light in May when the boyfriend turned himself in to the police after an attack of conscience.
The police tracked down and arrested 12 of the girl's clients. The charges against three of them had to be dropped due to lack of evidence, the other nine have to appear in court, NOS reports. Eight of them stand trial on Friday, the other will appear in court on a later date.
The men on trial today are between the ages from 25 and 54 years and are from, among others, Rotterdam, Maassluis, Voorschoten and Utrecht. Two suspects did not show up for their hearing, but their cases were still handled. The case against a 40 year old man from Amsterdam was postponed as another witness still had to be heard.
The only suspect actually in court this morning was a 54 year old man from Rotterdam. He denies having sex with the girl. According to him, he went to the flat in Schiedam after seeing an advertisement for an 18 year old girl, but did not go through with it. "I did not trust it. It was in a cellar, there was not mattress and it was nasty. I asked if she did this willingly and asked if she had an ID card. But she did not", the man said to the court, according to the broadcaster. The man also claims that none of the follow-up appointments ended in sex.
The girl told the police that she indeed had sex with the Rotterdam man. She claims that the pimp even filmed it, with the goal to blackmail the man.
This case bears striking similarities to the recent Valkenburg teen prostitution case. The Public Prosecutor prosecuted 25 men for having sex with a 16 year old girl in a hotel in Valkenburg. The prosecutor demanded harsh sentences, but the court eventually sentenced most of the men to community service. This girl was also advertised as being 18 years old and the court found that her clients did not deliberately go looking for an underage prostitute.