The owner of the Ferry’s Massage Parlour, in Samabula, Suva, was sentenced to five months imprisonment yesterday for managing a brothel.
Gita Mani was charged with two counts of managing a brothel whereby she managed one between March 1, 2009 to February 19, 2011.
In his judgment, Suva Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage said the accused started the massage parlour from the beginning of 2009 until the alleged offence was committed.
The prosecution’s case was that Mani managed the brothel in the massage parlour.
They called the evidence of three women who were employed by the accused.
Defence denied the charge and maintained that it was only a massage parlour and that the sexual activities done by the witnesses were totally unknown to the accused.
The first prosecution witness said in evidence that she applied for a job at the parlour after seeing a newspaper advertisement.
After she was recruited, she was instructed to do “full service” on clients (meaning masturbation and/or perform oral sex on the request of the customer).
These additional jobs were done inside a room which was provided by the accused.
After having sexual intercourse with the customers the accused was given all the money received where she retained half and the other half was given to the employee.
Another woman testified in court that she was employed as a ‘sex worker’ with her consent.
Mani said in evidence that she had no knowledge about the extra activities that were done by her employees.
While sentencing Mani, Magistrate Liyanage said the penalty was a fine of $100,000 or a prison sentence not exceeding five years.
He said the women were compelled to work as sex workers to earn a living.
The court heard that Mani did not pay any salary to the women who were asked to earn from men who sought sexual gratification in various manners through sexual intercourse.
Magistrate Liyanage said operating brothels has become a lucrative business in which unskilled and unemployed women are used for easy money.
He said if action was not taken it would pave the way for others to traffic women for sexual services in Fiji.
The accused has indicated that she would appeal the sentence and conviction.
The defendant was represented by lawyer Jitendra Reddy