A Brazilian man who is infected with HIV was discovered by Gardai in a suspected brothel in Letterkenny on Monday night, Glenties District Court was told yesterday.
Gardai described how they found Jose Filho, 44, who was dressed in women’s underwear and wearing a wig. He had just had sex with a male client who was also still on the premises when Gardai arrived.
His solicitor Patsy Gallagher told a special sitting at Glenties District Court that both Filho and Flor Yeni Montano Hurtado, a 42-year-old Spanish national who arrived in Ireland just four weeks ago, had been trafficked into prostitution by brothel bosses in Dublin.
Both of his clients pleaded guilty to prostitution charges. “My clients are victims in this incident,” said Mr Gallagher, “The victims are these unfortunate people themselves. I respectfully submit that the law has to be changed or otherwise the human rights of people like this are going to violated over and over again.
“Currently under the law no-one observed by Gardai on these premises over a period of time have committed an offence and the law has to be changed to make an offence.”
He said this was just the latest case where “poor people from all over the world arrive in Dublin looking to better themselves and end up being forced into prostitution.”
Filho had arrived in Ireland from Brazil in August, while Hurtado had arrived on September 27th last.
The Spanish woman came here to earn money to send her two children to college and had ended up working for a massage parlour.
“Both of my clients were forced to pay 250 euro to use the premises in Letterkenny,” said Mr Gallagher.
“In the case of Mr Filho he is clearly a very vulnerable individual who has no English and has told me through his interpreter that he is suffering from HIV and wants to return to Brazil as soon as possible,” he added. Detective Sgt John Murphy told the court that the house at 9 Ballymacool Terrace in Letterkenny had been under observation for a number of weeks.
Men who had frequented the premises had been questioned and one man was detained there. “Mr Filho had answered the front door of the premises. He was dressed in women’s underwear, was wearing a wig and was wearing make-up,” he said.
The detective said he found Ms Hurtado dressed in just her underwear in the kitchen of the premises.
Mr Gallagher told the hearing that the Spanish national, who had suffered from the side effects of a stroke, had a return ticket to Spain and planned to leave Ireland this Sunday. He said Mr Filho had a ticket to return to Brazil on November 27. Judge Paul Kelly released them both having signed a bond to keep the peace.