Girl, 12, found at Hengelo sex club

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prostitute . Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Tomas Castelazo

Sex club Privehuis Sandra in Hengelo was closed by order of the municipality after a 12-year-old girl was found in the club two weeks ago. The girl was not working as a prostitute, mayor Sander Schelberg stressed. "Absolutely unacceptable. That is no place for a child", he said to Tubantia.

​The municipality went to the sex club on Emmaweg two weeks ago. "We received information about the presence of a child and during a check a 12-year-old girl was indeed found", Schelberg said to the newspaper. The girl turned out to be the daughter of one of the sex workers at Privehuis Sandra. "The girl had to make appointments and maintain contact with customers because her mother does not speak Dutch. For example about prices of certain services and sexual acts."

Sandra Bertelink, owner of the sex club, is shocked that a child was found at her business and does not agree with the closure. "If I was there, that girl would never have been let in. The women who work in my business are preferably over 30. I do not even want my daughter of 19 there. But someone else let the girl and her mother in, when I was just at the campsite. A little later there was a check. The business was not even open", she said to the newspaper.

According to Bertelink, she does not know the woman or child in question. 

"The permit holder is responsible for what happens in her business, whether she is present or not", Mayor Schelberg responded to the excuses. As there were women in the business, the permit holder should have been present, he added. She is the sole permit holder, and is therefore obliged to be in the establishment during working hours. Schelberg speaks of non-compliance with permit requirements.

"The woman still has the opportunity to object [to the closer], but I think our case is strong", Schelberg said. "We looked at everything legally and if it is up to us, the closure will be definite."

The 12-year-old girl was handed over to youth care. Schelberg acknowledged that this was a far-reaching decision. "But the most important thing was to protect the child. Which we did."

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