A Filipina has been handed a life sentence for pimping out girls aged 12 to 16, including her own cousin, to foreigners.
Ilonah Jean Ramos was found guilty of human trafficking following an entrapment operation assisted by the International Justice Mission in 2016.
She was arrested along with her Japanese boyfriend Kimura Fumihiro. He committed suicide two days later while in National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) custody.
Case records showed that days before the arrest, Ramos enticed five girls, including a cousin, to go swimming at a condo pool in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
When they got there, the girls were instead handed over to an American man — who was actually an undercover agent working with the NBI and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.
Kimura had been arranging sex shows for foreign clients for a year, selling photos and videos of himself raping the girls.
In her defence, Ramos claimed she was innocent. She said she was unaware of the cybersex activities of Kimura, who she said was only a friend, not a lover.
But in her decision, Judge Elisa Sarmiento-Flores of Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 69 said the prosecution established all the elements of human trafficking in the case.
She cited Ramos’ “recruitment and transportation of the minor victims for sexual activities and exploitation” and her “taking advantage of their vulnerability by telling them that they would swim and eat dinner for free.”
Ramos was also ordered to pay a fine of two million pesos, as well as 600,000 pesos for moral and exemplary damages to each of her five victims.
The court acquitted a second woman, identified as the mother of one of the victims, for lack of proof that she conspired with Ramos.