Brothel Girls Give Court a Giggle

TABANAN

Nine prostitutes, eight of them from East Java and all rounded up by police in Tabanan as part of a Ramadhan clampdown, gave everyone — judges, prosecutors and the public — a laugh when they appeared in court this week unrepentant about their career choice.

The women, most of whom are newly arrived in Bali and who live and work at Terminal Pesiapan Indah (the name means “getting beautiful”), gave varying answers when asked by chief judge Irlina at the Tabanan District Court why they were working in the sex trade.

Komang Ayu, 20, of Kerambitan in Tabanan, told the judges at the hearing, on Monday, that she had been working at the Tabanan brothel for three years but had never been for a health check.

She said she was happy to work as a prostitute because the money was good.

The eight other women arrested and charged were named in court as Mita, 35, Susan, 35, Reni, 32, Tiwi, 24, Heni, 26, Lilik, 30, Mary, 30 and Sapira, 28.

Mita, who told the judges she was from Jember, said: “I had to do this because of the demands of life.”

Sapira, from Banyuwangi, said: “I’ve been here three days,” and admitted when questioned that she had worked as a prostitute in Banyuwangi before coming to Bali.

“I was in Banyuwangi, where I also worked like this,” she said, causing the judges, prosecutors and people in the public gallery to grin.

Judge Irina asked the women one by one why they were working as prostitutes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan.

“I’m not fasting, Ma’am,” one them, Tiwi, told her.

The women were charged with a misdemeanour offence under the prostitution laws and each fined Rp500,000 (US$57).

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