Monte Carlo, the popular club a block from the beach in Copacabana was the scene of a police raid a few months ago. People were arrested for sexual exploitation (pimping), a serious offense in Brazil where prostitution itself is completely legal.
For years people have complained that city officials might be on a moral crusade to rid itself of “vices” that other nations might not appreciate during the World Cup (2014) and Olympic Games (2016). This raid was part of the crusade we stated here on this blog.
Finally, a judge (on September 3, 2012) agrees with us that the city is going too far and this crusade is quite clear to most of us!
Roberto Rodrigues Pereira and Everton Milestones Souza Rodrigues, the owner and manager of Monte Carlo, stood acussed of sexual exploitation (taking advantage of the prostitution of others), a felony punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison. The judge, Rubens Casara, threw the case out and admonished the prosecutor!
The judge made it clear that this campaign against prostitution is misguided. If the city really cared about the women themselves, arresting the owners of clubs that allow the women to meet customers is not the way to got about it. Even if the owners are convicted, stated the judge, the women face no charges and they will just take their profession, which is legal, elsewhere. So what is the harm done by the owners who in essence provide an environment where both parties, the customers and the women feel safe?! Without termas (sex clubs) these encounters will have to take place in the streets and in private residences, placing the women, quite possibly, in more danger.
Wow, it is about time somebody on an official level stated what we all knew has been going on ever since the city closed down Help Disco. The rich and powerful are attempting to control the morals of others to put on a different face for the World Cup and Olympics. We can only hope that Rio will continue to be the city people for centuries have come to love rather than one attempting to emulate the morals of outsiders.
For coverage of the earlier raids see: http://braziltravelcenter.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/more-police-raids-on-houses-of-prostitution-in-rio-de-janeiro-last-night/