By Paul Bibby and Stephanie Gardiner on April 2, 2013—”A Sydney brothel madam has been found guilty of keeping young Malaysian students in sexual servitude at a brothel on Sydney’s north shore.
Chee Mei Wong, 39, forced the six young women to work up to 20 hours a day in the Diamonds brothel in Willoughby and ordered them to perform unusual sex acts against their will, so they could pay “debts” to the madam.
Wong, who called herself “Yoko”, recruited the women from Malaysia and arranged for them to arrive on student visas, telling them they had to pay off a $5000 debt for their enrolments in educational courses, airfares and visas.
“They were given a list of services that must be performed. Some of them immediately said … they were not prepared to perform them,” Crown Prosecutor Carolyn Davenport, SC, said during the opening of Wong’s seven week trial at the Downing Centre District Court.
“They were told that they must, and they did not have a choice. They were told that they were not to leave the brothel until they had paid their debt.
“They were not allowed to attend school. Though some were allowed to go very occasionally, the majority were not allowed to go at all.”
In 2009, some of the women told a former client about their conditions and he helped them go to the authorities, the court heard.
Wong pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including that she ran a brothel that involved the sexual servitude of others between 2008 and 2010. Her barrister, Bruce Quinn, said she was only a casual receptionist at Diamonds and that the six women never worked more than their regulated 20 hours a week.
But after just a day of deliberations the 12-member jury found Wong guilty of all seven charges on March 27.
The 39-year-old has been committed for sentencing, which will begin on May 31.”
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