PHILIPSBURG – The Court in First Instance will take a decision on Friday about a request by the public prosecutor to put brothel owner Etienne ‘Toochi’ Meyers and his co-defendant Louella Marianella R. (50) behind bars again.

The prosecutor made the request on Wednesday during a pro forma hearing against the 66-year old Meyers and his co-defendants in the so-called Pompeii-investigation, but the court took not an immediate decision because lead-defense attorney Eldon Sulvaran could not be present in court. On his behalf, attorney Shaira Bommel objected to a decision to terminate the suspension of her clients’ pretrial detention.

The court set the date for the trial at February 21 of next year.

Meyers, Louella R., Dulcea Felomina F. (56) and Rampsis R. (56) are on trial for crimes they allegedly committed against 42 prostitutes that worked at El Capitan in Sucker Garden and Le Petit Chateau on Pond Island. The charges include human trafficking, exploitation of prostitutes and unlawful employment. The defendants are also accused of robbing the women – stemming from the Dominican Republic and Colombia – of their freedom.

Investigators raided the two brothels in November of last year; they found more than twenty women working there without work permits and without residence permits. The women also appeared to be locked up after working hours.

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