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Jamaican charged with prostituting women

Chevaneese Sashagaye Hall (centre) being taken to court yesterday.

Chevaneese Sashagaye Hall (centre) being taken to court yesterday.

NASSAU – A 23-year-old Jamaican woman made history yesterday when she became the first person to be charged with trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution in The Bahamas.

Chevaneese Sashagaye Hall was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez for allegedly fraudulently facilitating the arrival of two Jamaican women into New Providence between January 10 and January 28.

Police allege those two crimes were committed in concert with others.

Hall was also charged with unlawfully withholding the Jamaican passports of those women on Grand Bahama between January 10 and January 28. She was also charged with transporting the women through The Bahamas for the purposes of prostitution between January 10 and January 28 in contravention of the Trafficking in Persons Act.

Hall was additionally charged with threatening to kill one of the women on Grand Bahama between January 18 and January 28.

Hall was not required to enter a plea to the charges and her case will be forwarded to the Supreme Court by way of voluntary bill of indictment.

Her attorney, Roberto Reckley, argued that she had been held in custody for two weeks prior to being charged and requested that she be granted bail.

When asked by Gomez why Hall was held for so long without being charged, prosecutor Eucal Bonaby said there is an ongoing international police investigation and the majority of Hall’s time in custody was spent at the Carmichael Road Detention Center as the Department of Immigration was also investigating her and others.

Hall’s lawyers yesterday filed a writ of habeas corpus demanding that she be brought before the court to facilitate her appearance.

Reckley said there is no evidence that Hall would not appear at her trial if granted bail.

However, Bonaby further argued that Hall is a flight risk, as she has no status in The Bahamas.

Gomez, who said he took a “dim view” of Hall being held for so long without being charged, agreed that she posed a flight risk and remanded her to Her Majesty’s Prisons.

Hall is expected to appear for service of the VBI on May 10, at which time she has the right to appeal for bail. (Nassau Guardian)

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