A man and two women accused of operating a brothel in the Upper Fells Point-Butchers Hill area appeared yesterday in Baltimore District Court, where prosecutors told them that their case had been moved to Circuit Court.
Reina Lopez, 35, and Virginia Martinez, 31, who are charged with prostitution, are staying in another state but will return to Baltimore for future hearings, their attorney said. Carlos Silot, 39, who is accused of being their pimp, also promised to return to court, his attorney said.
Bradley Goldbloom, Silot's attorney, called the case weak and lacking in evidence. "Police saw no money exchange hands, and, frankly, I have no idea how they're going to substantiate the charge."
On Sept. 25, Baltimore police searched a rowhouse in the 200 block of S. Collington Ave. They found $388 in cash and a log that indicated that the women had had 19 customers each that day. The two-story Formstone house was outfitted with exterior surveillance cameras, two bedrooms and a waiting area, according to charging documents. Police say the brothel was advertised to Hispanic men in the Patterson Park area.
Authorities say Silot and the women were living in the 2000 block of E. Lombard St. in Butchers Hill. City prosecutors say this might be a case of human trafficking, but state laws do not address the trafficking of adults for sexual acts. Silot, who is charged with misdemeanor pandering, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted. The women are charged with prostitution, also a misdemeanor.
Lopez and Martinez, who are sisters, emigrated illegally from Mexico seeking money for their children, according to their attorney, Tara LeCompte. Since they were arrested last month, the women have been promised cash if they skip court and have also been threatened, LeCompte said.
Goldbloom said any threats had "certainly not" been from his client, who lives in Baltimore.