Wednesday, 10 Sep, 2008 Offbeat

Girl Aged 14 Worked as a Prostitute at a Licensed Brothel


A manager and owner of a brothel were accused of allowing a 14-year-old teenage girl to work as a prostitute. Both Janette Woods, 54, and Andrew William Hewinson, 45, face over 100 charges each for allowing the girl to work as a prostitute at their licensed brother in 2007. It is worth mentioning that the girl is still a student attending school. The two are denying the charges.

The police assume that the girl worked as a prostitute at Pickwood Lodge, in Lygon Street, Brunswick, in the period between March 11 and May 20, 2007. Now 15, she has been taken into care of the Salvation Army.

The owner and the manager of the brothel were listed to appear for a contested hearing which would have taken place in Melbourne Magistrates' Court today. However, the case was suspended. Manager Janette Woods and owner Andrew William Hewinson are accused of 117 offences under the Prostitution Control Act.

Each one of them faces 39 counts of taking money while being aware it came from sexual services that the 14-year-old girl provided, 39 counts of allowing the teenager to work as a prostitute without making reasonable actions to prove she was over 18 and 39 counts of allowing the girl to participate in the act of prostitution.

The lawyer of Ms Woods, Zoe Broughton, said that the former manager of the brothel had fears that the case would be revealed to the public and affect her employment. There was no sign of either Mr Hewinson or his legal representative in the court.

The case was adjourned due to the fact that the victim could not give evidence today. The hearing will continue in January.

The official website of Pickwood Lodge characterizes it as a discrete institution "where it all happens". It ensures clients "total confidentiality" and a "once in a lifetime experience you can have over and over again".


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