Man, 78, cleared of living off massage parlour brothels

The magistrate’s court has cleared an elderly man of living off the earnings of prostitution and says charges should have instead been filed against his wife

Court rules prostitution did take place at the massage parlours but the police charged the wrong person
Court rules prostitution did take place at the massage parlours but the police charged the wrong person

A 78-year-old man has been acquitted of charges that he lived off the earnings of prostitution through massage parlours in Mosta and Hamrun.

The court said it was clear that sexual services were being provided at the two locations, which were raided by the police in 2012 but charges should have instead been filed against the man’s wife.

Alfred Attard was charged in 2012 by Inspector Louise Calleja with running a brothel and knowingly allowing his premises to be used as such after declaring that he was responsible for the shops.

But Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech observed that the charges should have been filed against Attard’s wife, Aileng Ge, as she had been the one who was running the parlours and managing the employees. The parlours were also registered in her name.

The Court heard that when the raid took place, Ge was Attard’s carer but they then married in 2013.

Frendo Dimech was told that Attard had declared he was in an intimate relationship with a 90-year-old Maltese woman who used to give him money to live on, and for this reason he never needed to take any money from the parlours.

Attard denied all knowledge of sexual activities in his wife’s establishments, and stated that he would only drive the employees to work in his car and handle the VAT accounts.

The shops were registered in Ge’s name, and the employees all testified that they only knew her, as “she was the boss.” Three men who had been found in the massage parlours by the police also testified, admitting to the court that they had been receiving sexual services against an extra charge.

Frendo Dimech ruled there was no doubt that prostitution was being conducted in the premises, but she also highlighted a number of shortcomings in the prosecution’s case.

No client identified the employee who rendered sexual services and the employees who denied offering sex were not confronted with the client, observed the court.

Likewise, no investigations into the income, and how much of it ended up in the pockets of the accused, were made through examinations of his income tax and VAT returns.

The court also noted that from the very beginning it had been Ailing Ge who had been identified as the person aware of what was happening in the shops but rather than being charged, the police arraigned the accused simply because he had told them he was assuming responsibility for the operations.

The fact that he would drive the employees to and from work was in no way sufficient to find guilt on a charge that he knowingly lived off the earnings of prostitution, the court said.

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