Charged with human trafficking of a minor Print E-mail
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Thursday, 12 March 2015 00:00

Naturalized Belizean Estella Gonzalez, 62, was before the court a week ago for immigration offenses and she is in trouble with the law again; this time for a more serious offense -  trafficking of a minor.
A Preliminary Inquiry was concluded in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, March 10 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to forward a case of trafficking a 15-year-old minor against Gonzalez. She was initially arraigned on February 10, 2014 for one count of human trafficking. She is alleged to have employed a 15-year-old undocumented female at her establishment on the George Price Highway, Temptation Bar. Allegations against Gonzalez are that between August 19 and September 7 2013, she harboured the minor at her Mile 8 residence on the George Price Highway for the purpose of exploiting her as a prostitute.

Attorney Kevin Arthurs argued that there was no evidence to send the matter to the Supreme Court. He claims that the virtual complainant had called the name of another person, not his client, as the person who tried to exploit her for sex.

Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that Prosecutor Cpl. Christopher Smith made a prima facie case against Gonzalez; therefore, she committed Gonzales to stand trial for the offense of human trafficking of a minor. Gonzalez was offered bail in the sum of $2,000.