Valkenburg hotel teen prostitute case: 29 men face charges

justice courts legal systemA total of 29 men will appear in court in Maastricht charged with the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl in two hotels in Valkenburg, the public prosecution department said on Wednesday.

Twenty-eight will face judges this month and the 29th, who has Belgian nationality, will be tried in the autumn.

In January, the department said up to 80 men could face charges in connection with the case.  The girl, who was 16 at the time, disappeared from her home in October last year and was found by police having sex with a man in a Valkenburg motel in December.

The men face jail terms of up to 12 years, even if they believed the girl was at least 18 – the minimum age to work as a prostitute in the Netherlands. Two of the men have since committed suicide.

During Wednesday’s procedural hearing, lawyer Nino Pennino said he would be demanding compensation on behalf of the girl’s parents of up to €10,000 per man.

‘They had the opportunity to stop what they were doing,’ Pennino said. ‘Just one man asked for her passport and when she refused, he left but did not call the police, leaving the child to her fate.’

Pimp

The girl’s 21-year-old pimp, Armen A, faces three years in jail for facilitating the prostitution and appeared in court in June.

A was earlier accused of forcing the girl to become a prostitute but that charge was dropped when the girl gave a statement saying she was in love with A and would do whatever he wanted.

A paid for the room, negotiated with clients and has previous convictions for robbery with violence and blackmail, ANP says.

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