FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Fort Myers couple is accused of running a brothel for years, forcing a woman to have sex with dozens of men each day.
Joaquin Perez-Urbano and Paula Rojas-Zarate were arrested on December 10th after an 11-month long Homeland Security investigation.
On January 25th, Fort Myers police were called out to a home in the 700 block of Fairfax Avenue after someone called 911 and reported seeing a woman being dragged by her hair into the home. When officers went inside, they found a woman hiding in a closet as several men fled the scene.
According to the report, the victim told detectives that between 2007-2008 Rojas-Zarate and Perez-Urbano smuggled her to the U.S. from Mexico with a promise of getting a job as a cleaning lady to pay off her debt so she could care for her children. When she arrived, Perez-Urbano forced her into prostitution, threatening her family and her life if she didn’t cooperate. The victim also told detectives she would be forced to have sex with as many as 70 men per day.
“It’s sad, you know, especially because they promised her something better for her kids and they bring her here with a totally different purpose,” Krystal Maldonado said.
Maldonado now lives in the house that was used as a brothel.
“When I first looked at the house, all she told me was, ‘I don’t know if you guys, you know, know the previous owner who lived here apparently had something going on with women and he’d sell them,'” Maldonado explained.
Maldonado moved into the home in May, but says men still stop by from time to time.
“At least three or four, and you know sometimes it’s just one man, sometimes it’s two men.”
Both Rojas-Zarate and Perez-Urbano are facing kidnapping and prostitution charges.