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Samoa couple deny prostitution allegations

A couple accused in the District Court of running a prostitution ring out of their home at Malololelei have vehemently denied the allegations against them. Metala James and Sanele Sanele, of Manono and Papaloloa, face 13 charges in relation to prostitution. They are accused of using four girls in a prostitution operation that caters for customers from all over Samoa.The girls – including a student – allegedly have sex with clients for as little as $20 a session. In some cases, the Court heard the girls could take on three clients for $50. Appearing before Judge Mata Tuatagaloa on Friday, the couple denied all the allegations against them.James told the Court she took the girls in because they had nowhere else to stay. She said she felt sorry for them so she and her partner decided to take them into their home. James disputed the claims about giving the girls money. She said this was done to pay for their taxi fares to places they wanted to go. Her evidence was supported by Sanele who also told the Court they felt sorry for the girls.But Judge Tuatagaloa was not impressed. “I don’t think so,” she said. “Why would somebody take in these girls and yet they have to pay for their rent? Is this how you make money for your business, from dirty money?”On Friday, two more witnesses – whose names are suppressed by the Court – gave evidence. The 20-year-old girl said she was involved from April to June, last year. She said she was taken by James to one of the hotels at Togafu’afu’a where she had sexual intercourse with a palagi man three times for $30.