- Interior Min. to expel 15 prostitutes who testified against pimps (02/07/2005)
Monday, February 07, 2005
Case of Grig Sholkin
Case of Grig Sholkin
Pimp - Israel
Pimp - Ukraine
Convicted of human trafficking, assault and other charges, by his own admission.
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Interior Min. to expel 15 prostitutes who testified against pimps
By Ruth Sinai
Haaretz - Mon., February 07, 2005 Shvat 28, 5765
The Interior Minnistry is planning to expel some 15 women who were brought here to work as prostitutes and agreed to testify against the men who imported and sold them. The Justice Ministry, however, is planning to help them fight expulsion, through its department for legal assistance to the needy.
The women are residents of a hostel set up by the state for the purpose of protecting them. Some of them have already testified against the pimps and women-traffickers; others have expressed the desire to do so, but are not needed. All would like to remain in Israel and work for another year. They were promised they would be able to do so by then interior minister Avraham Poraz and Meretz-Yahad MK Zahava Gal-On, who headed a parliamentary committee on women- trafficking.
Yasmin Keshet, the lawyer who is representing the victims, last week applied to the Interior Ministry on behalf of a 19-year-old from the Ukraine, who infiltrated into Israel via Egypt. She grew up with an alcoholic mother and a stepfather who abused her and agreed to come to Israel as a prostitute. According to the charge sheet against her procurers, she was sold at a Tel Aviv parking lot to the owner of an escort agency, where she worked without being paid, ostensibly to pay for her travel expenses to Israel. She was raped by the agency owner and suffered injuries. Because of her testimony, the pimp, Grig Sholkin, was convicted of human trafficking, assault and other charges, by his own admission. He has not yet been sentenced.
Hadas Shafir of the State Prosecutor's Office confirmed that the young woman cooperated fully with the police and the prosecution, and provided evidence concerning several suspects. As a result, she has received threats and is scared to return to the Ukraine. She also tried to sue Sholkin in a labor court for not paying her, but withdrew her lawsuit after her family - including her 10-year-old half-brother - was threatened. Meanwhile, she received a temporary visa and is working in a cosmetics firm. The lawyer said that the woman hopes to continue working there another year and to earn money before returning home.
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