May 23,2007 00:00
MINNEAPOLIS - Twenty-five suspects have been arrested for allegedly forcing foreign women into sex slavery at brothels in Minnesota.
Authorities in Minneapolis said the suspects allegedly operated eight brothels in Minneapolis, West St. Paul and Richfield in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, as well as in Austin, the St. Paul Pioneer Press said.
All 19 men and six women arrested during the weekend had surnames appearing Hispanic in origin but it wasn't clear which countries they were from, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported.
"The leaders of this prostitution ring ... are responsible for the bondage and sex slavery of women, an intolerable condition in a 21st century America," U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose said.
An indictment said Marisol Ramirez, a 37-year-old illegal immigrant, was the ringleader. Others were accused of running the brothels, supplying drugs and condoms, and carrying out marketing efforts such as handing out business cards.
Paulose said the women were treated harshly. Two allegedly were forced to engage in sex with 80 men in one night alone.
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