Man jailed for enabling prostitution in a Sligo hotel

Monday 28 July 2014 23.38
Sligo Circuit Court heard the sex worker was not at the hotel voluntarily
Sligo Circuit Court heard the sex worker was not at the hotel voluntarily

A man has been jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to controlling or directing a prostitute in a room in the Clarion Hotel in Sligo.

Jacob Trawoly, 35, with an address at Edgewood Lawns, Blanchardstown, Dublin admitted the offences which took place on 16 and 17 June, 2011.

Sentencing him at Sligo Circuit Court this afternoon, Judge Tony Hunt said that Trawoly could not be described as the "Mr Big" of the organisation but he played an essential part.

He said the woman in this case was not there voluntarily and if she had decided to leave, he had no doubt Trawoly would have taken steps to stop her.

Judge Hunt said Trawoly was present at all times while the woman was in the hotel and he collected her earnings from a drawer in the room.

The case came to light when staff in the hotel contacted gardaÍ about suspicious activity.

Gerardine Rowley of Ruhama, which helps victims of sex trafficking, was present for the sentencing and commended the hotel staff for their swift action in contacting the gardaÍ. She said their actions resulted in a victim of sex trafficking being rescued.

While she welcomed the jail term imposed on Trawoly, Ms Rowley expressed surprise and disappointment that trafficking charges were not put forward in the case. 

She told the court that from the onset of the investigation this seemed to be a clear-cut trafficking case.

She added that there was evidence in the case of a "young, vulnerable woman....who was lured into Ireland with the promise of a better life....and subsequently duped into prostitution and held in debt bondage."

Ms Rowley said the case was similar to other cases in recent years and that it was "difficult to comprehend why these criminals have not been tried under more appropriate legislation."