News/Canada: 2 deportees in sex slave trade

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Subject: News/Canada: 2 deportees in sex slave trade
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Apr 20 2000 - 13:22:13 EDT


2 deportees in sex slave trade
Hungarians among 17 dancers arrested
Grant LaFleche, The Standard
via National Post, March 12, 2000

ST. CATHARINES - Two exotic dancers from Hungary who are being deported
after a raid on a strip club in Welland, Ont., are part of an international
sexual slave trade, police say.

Niagara Regional Police say women from eastern Europe are being brought to
the Niagara region believing they will be working in the strip-club
circuit, only to be snared into a life of prostitution.

"It's very prevalent. They are sponsored and brought into the country
thinking they will work as strippers," said Detective Sergeant Tom MacLean
of the NRP morality unit. "Then their visas are taken away ... and they are
trapped."

Det. Sgt. MacLean was part of the NRP crackdown on Babies strip club on
Main Street in Welland on Thursday that saw 17 exotic dancers charged with
prostitution.

Police also charged Roman Ludacka, the club's owner, and Raymond Bailey,
the manager, with keeping a common bawdy house and living off the avails of
prostitution.

Fifteen of the dancers were released from custody on court-imposed conditions.

Two others, 20-year-old Renatte Rupa and 23-year-old Sandorne Kovacs, were
handed over to Immigration Canada in Toronto for deportation proceedings.

Police say that while the bar's main floor features exotic dancers, a
"controlled area on the second floor," was used for prostitution.

One man watching the raid said he had been in the strip club several times
and was even propositioned to sleep with one of the girls upstairs.

"Basically, you give the bartender $10 and he will get a doorman to take
you upstairs with the stripper of your choice," said the man, who wouldn't
give his name.

It cost up to $300 for an encounter with one of the girls, he said.
"Upstairs, anything goes."

The man added that many of the girls working in Babies were from outside of
Canada.

"You got Romanians, Polish and Yugoslavians," he said. "It's just like
other strip clubs."

"Our hands are tied," Det. Sgt. MacLean said of current legislation in
Ontario that permits extensive body contact during lap dancing, making it
harder for police to crack down on prostitution in strip clubs.

According to an NRP document on Niagara strip clubs, sexual acts are
occurring in other bars in the region as well.

"Various sexual acts, from hand releases to fellatio, are being performed
in the clubs," the report says.

Claiming that one strip club is marketing the same type of "high-class
prostitution seen in Las Vegas," the report concludes that "Niagara is
entering into a class generally reserved for larger cities in North America."

While Det. Sgt. MacLean would not comment on the police's ongoing
investigation, he said a full-scale brothel at a strip club "is the extreme
in Niagara."

Prostitution in other clubs exists, he said, but not often to the same degree.

Police are now trying to have the city of Welland revoke Babies' licence
and shut it down for good.
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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