Ukrainian Minor Allegedly Forced into Prostitution in Lisbon Massage Clinic

It's unclear whether this case will be linked to other human trafficking investigations.

Several foreign young adults and one 15-year-old Ukrainian minor have been forced to have sex with the clients of a local massage clinic, according to Observador

Last Monday, April 12, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), thanks to an arrest warrant issued by Lisbon’s Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DIAP), rescued the teenager and detained those in charge of the clinic. “In the context of carrying out court orders, SEF detained the owner/manager of the establishment where the minor and other young adults had allegedly had sexual relations with clients,” SEF said in a statement. 

The teenager was able to identify a 64-year-old Portuguese man whom she accused of having had sexual relations with her, which could constitute a prison sentence of up to three years. Público reports that after being heard by the court, the 64-year-old was “left with the least severe coercion measure: a term of identity and residence.”

According to SEF, their officers searched both the clinic and the manager’s home and seized the money from clients and other evidence of crimes under investigation. The teenager was heard in court by the public prosecutor in charge of the case. The manager, a Portuguese citizen, is being detained by house arrest and will be indicted for the crimes of pimping, which is punishable with up to eight years in prison, and the pimping of minors, which is punishable by up to 10 years. Her trial was scheduled for Tuesday, April 20, but there have been no updates as of yet on the results of that trial.

The minor is now under the care of her parents, who claim they were unaware of their daughter’s situation, according to Público. The manager of the clinic, while on trial, is being held under house arrest for child prostitution. The police have not yet announced whether the case will be included in the ongoing investigations regarding human trafficking.  

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