American woman accused of human trafficking denied bail

LYNN Scantlebury — the United States citizen who along with her stepfather have been accused of trafficking exotic dancers into the island and forcing them into prostitution — was yesterday denied bail in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court.

The 23-year-old home health aide and her 41-year-old stepfather Anthony Parker were arrested on September 16 when police raided the Latin Movement Night Club on Dunrobin Avenue and a house in the posh upper St Andrew community of Cherry Gardens.

Thirteen persons, including six foreign dancers (four Panamanians and two from the Dominican Republic) and several minors were detained during the operations.

Parker and Scantlebury are both charged with seven counts of facilitating the offence of human trafficking, seven counts of conspiracy, eight counts of human trafficking, a count of money laundering and withholding travel documents.

Yesterday, when the matter was mentioned in court, attorney George Soutar appealed to Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey for Scantlebury to be released on bail. But the judge refused on the grounds that the suspect is a flight risk.

Soutar tried persuading the magistrate to change her mind, indicating that the court could order the seizure of his client’s travel documents and impose a stop order.

Scantlebury and Parker are to return to court on Monday.

Allegations are that Parker, Scantlebury and others recruited females from several foreign countries, forced them into prostitution and laundered the money derived from the illegal operation to benefit them.

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