Alleged trafficking victim tells trial she had to take part in sexual relations with accused and her husbandPadraig Conlon 03 Feb 2023
By Claire Henry
A Brazilian woman who was allegedly trafficked to Ireland to work in prostitution has told a jury that she had to take part in sexual relations with one of the accused and her husband on numerous occasions.
The woman was giving her evidence via video-link, and through an interpreter, at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial of Natalia Nogueira Da Silva and Ivanilce (Lisa) Vailones Fidelis yesterday.
The State alleges that the accused women trafficked two vulnerable Brazilian women for the purposes of exploiting them and taking advantage of their vulnerability “to such an extent as to cause the trafficked person to have no real or acceptable alternative but to submit to being trafficked”.
Ms Vailones Fidelis (46) of Castle Manor, Racecourse Road, Roscommon, has denied all 18 charges against her, including two counts of human trafficking, one count of organising prostitution and money laundering charges on dates between 2015 and 2020.
Ms Da Silva (32), of Cairn Hill View, Drumlish, Co Longford, has admitted 35 charges, including organising prostitution, facilitating the entry into the state of an illegal person and money laundering. She has denied a single charge of human trafficking in 2019.
The court heard that the complainant met Lisa at a party around Christmas. After this party, the woman was invited by Lisa to come and meet her and her husband.
They would have drinks, hang out and then have “relationships” with each other.
Garnet Orange SC, prosecuting, asked the woman if she could give more information as to the type of “relationships” and the woman said it was hard to explain and referred to it as a “ménage” and agreed that it was of a sexual nature.
The woman explained that one of the girls would be picked up from where they were staying and would be the “girlfriend” of Lisa and her husband for the weekend.
These weekends would take place in Lisa’s house in Roscommon or in different hotels. The woman was encouraged to take alcohol and drugs to help her relax.
The court heard the woman was selected as the “girlfriend” for the first time when she had her photographs taken for the Escorts Ireland website.
Senior Counsel asked if she was happy to take part in these relationships, and she said “no”.
While the woman was living and working in Cashel, she had a fight with Lisa as she got her period and was in pain.
The woman told the court that they were still expected to work when they had their period.
Lisa instructed them to insert cotton wool into their vaginas and “not to get the clients dirty”.
The court heard that on another occasion, while the woman was staying in an apartment near the Kildare Village shopping outlet, the boiler broke and the apartment had no hot water; it was also snowing at the time.
The woman asked Lisa to get the boiler fixed, but she refused as she did not want anyone calling to the house.
The woman then contacted Lisa’s husband, who arranged to have the boiler fixed.
The woman was then told by Lisa to “get your suitcase and leave” and kicked the woman out of the apartment.
The woman travelled to Belfast and stayed with a friend and had limited contact with Lisa after this.
Ms Da Silva has pleaded not guilty to one count of human trafficking a woman at an unknown location within the State, on dates between March 31, 2019, and May 18, 2019.
She has pleaded guilty in front of the jury to one count of organising prostitution at an unknown location within the State on dates between December 5, 2018, and May 18, 2019.
She has also admitted one count of facilitating the entry into the State of a person she knew to be illegal on March 31, 2019, at Dublin Airport, along with 33 counts of money laundering the proceeds of crime on dates between March 2020 and May 2021. Ms Vailones Fidelis has pleaded not guilty to all 18 counts against her.
The case will resume on Tuesday next before Ms. Justice Patricia Ryan.