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Feb 11, 2016

Honduran Bar Manager Awaits Sentencing on Human Trafficking Conviction

Estella Gonzalez

Convictions for human trafficking are rare, but tonight a grandmother is behind bars for the offence. Honduran national Estella Gonzalez was convicted this morning in the Supreme Court by Justice Adolph Lucas. A panel of nine persons deliberated for a little over an hour on Wednesday night and just before eight o’clock unanimously found Gonzalez guilty of human trafficking. Gonzalez is a businesswoman and the bar owner of Temptations Bar at mile ten on the George Price Highway; she was represented by attorneys Leo Bradley and Kevin Arthurs.  The victim was brought to Belize between August and September of 2013 by Gonzalez, when she was fifteen years old on the promise that she would be working at a nail salon. But when she arrived in Belize, she was put to work in a bar where she had to entertain men and eventually was forced into sex with three of them. The men paid the grandmother one hundred and fifty dollars each, but the minor only received twenty-five dollars which was less than she had been promised. Gonzalez told her she had deducted living, clothing and travelling expenses. The minor also testified that Gonzalez threatened the girl police would deport her, if she attempted to leave. She eventually got help and was able to report her ordeal to the police. Gonzalez was arrested and charged in February 2014. In her defence, the grandmother told the court that she met the victim when she showed up at her door asking for a job. She told her she could work at the bar, but she never used her as a prostitute.  The jury however sided with the minor.  Prosecutor in the case was the D.P.P. herself, Cheryl Lynn-Vidal, who was assisted by crown counsels, Sherigne Rodriguez and Janelle Tillett.  The trial of Estella Gonzalez began on January twelfth and concluded on Wednesday night. The grandmother will be sentenced next Thursday.

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1 Response for “Honduran Bar Manager Awaits Sentencing on Human Trafficking Conviction”

  1. Al says:

    3 consecutive 25 year sentences. Consecutive not concurrent. For the three rapes, for the $25 she gave to the little girl. Her assets and cash needs to be confiscated because she probably gained them by doing even more of these prostitution to more girls. An example needs to be set.

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