2005-10-29 05:05:28 UTC
North Carolina and elsewhere to work in three brothels and then kept under
"lock and key," according to charges filed against three people.
A four-count indictment released this week charges Valente Chavez Sanchez,
23; Melania "Maritza" Corcino, 43; and Jose Altagracia Deleon Corcino, 25,
of engaging in sex trafficking by bringing women from New York, New Jersey
and Maryland and finding girls to work at brothels in Wake and Harnett
Sanchez was being held for a detention hearing Monday. The status of the
Corcinos was unclear Friday.
The indictment says the sex ring operated for seven years, until August
2004, running brothels in Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina, and at a mobile home park
Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the treatment of the women and
girls, but the indictment described how the defendants recruited an
unidentified 14-year-old girl to prostitute herself, and how Melania Corcino
paid a minor to work in the Fuquay-Varina brothel in June 2003.
The indictment accuses Sanchez of arranging transportation of out-of-state
to typically work a week in a brothel in Raleigh or Durham. Sanchez $130 for
each new prostitute.
Jose Corcino is suspected of collecting money from customers -- $25 for 15
minutes -- and Melania Corcino paid the prostitutes weekly, the indictment
Raleigh police and Wake County Sheriff's officials said the number of
brothels catering to Hispanics has increased in recent years, as the
Hispanic population in the area has grown.
The Rev. Shay Auerbach, associate pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel
Catholic Church in Raleigh, said such businesses often escape the notice of
law enforcement and neighbors.
"They're under the radar screen, but the Hispanic community is well aware of
these places," said Auerbach, whose church serves a large Hispanic
"What you have is an immigrant population -- a lot of young men, some
single, some married, away from home and their families," Auerbach said.
"It's a vice, and I preach against it, but it's as old as immigration
itself. It's one response to being lonely."