Tribunal Oral en lo Criminal Federal de Cordoba
Victims / Plaintiffs in the first instance
Defendants / Respondents in the first instance
After the investigation phase and believing had sufficient evidence against the defendant, the prosecutor made a request to Court, named ”requerimiento fiscal de elevacion a juicio”, requiring to take the case to trial.
According to the Prosecutor, between January and March of 2009, the defendant M.R.U. would have received three minors to work in a brothel owned by E.A.F – currently fugitive from justice. The victims were recruited by E.A.F. who used to travel to the north of Argentina and bring minor to work on his brothel.
Called to testify M.R.U., who started working for E.A.F. (owner of the brothel) when she was 18, denied the facts against her, asserting she was just another prostitute of the brothel and for being the oldest prostitute of the premises she gained the trust of the owner to take care of the brothel while he was absent, besides that, she did not have any special autonomy.
It was confirmed through the testimonies provided by the victims and other women who worked at the site, that E.A.F. was the person who selected the girls to work for him without any help from another person and the defendant was not in a position to decide on what she wanted or did not want to do in that place, as the owner E.A.F, treated her the same way he treated the others under life threats, isolation and deprivation of freedom.
Charges / Claims / Decisions
Article 145 ter Penal Code
The evidence produced during the debates enabled to prove the veracity of the facts stated in the accusatory part, concerning the existence of a wiskería named “La legua” in which several women, including minors were sexually exploited by a person named E.A.F. who was the owner of the place.
The accused M.R.U. was identified as the responsible person for the site in the absence of the owner, however the same does not occur regarding the authorship wilful of M.R.U. of having received three minors, from the city of Chaco y Salta.
In this regard, the testimony of the police officer Elías Moisés Sarria and the victims who worked at the wiskería, described M.R.U. as just another prostitute at the wiskería and occasionally the owner entrusted her with the task to receive the money from the other girls, the income of the sexual exploitation and the sale of alcohol during the nights.
Three of the acts described in article 145 of the Penal Code necessary for the consummation of the offence of trafficking in person, as recruitment, transportation and reception were carried out by the owner E.A.F. confirmed by the victims testimonies. The victims certified that E.A.F. was the person who contacted them, and took them until the city of Cordoba to the wiskería of his ownership to sexual exploit them there.
In all of these actions taken by E.A.F., the accused did not intervene or participate from any point of view, since according to the other girls M.R.U. was their co-worker to who E.A.F. also enslaved, threatened, deprived of liberty and sexually exploited, but unlike the other women there, M.R.U. had a single benefit which was to get out during the day to pick up her son at the kindergarten.
For these reasons, the case is accredited with the necessary certainty the unusualness of the conduct by the accused since it has been demonstrated that she did not participate and collaborate in the recruitment, transportation and placement or receiving the minors.
That combined with the fact that the accused was only 18 years old and once child in her care. All the facts suggest that long ago she was a victim of a crime that now she is being attributed for.
The Court unanimously resolved to acquit M.R.U. for the crime of receiving minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation, article 145 ter Penal Code.
Sources / Citations
Judgment - Sentencia_Expte 231-U-2010
Database of UFASE (Unidad Fiscal de Asistencia en Secuestros Extorsivos y Trata de Personas), Ministerio Publico Fiscal, Republica Argentina