A MAN was fined $3000 yesterday for running an illegal prostitution business at Buddina for two years.
Stephen Glen Chapman, 44, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to nine counts of procuring prostitution and other related charges. He also pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material of young girls.
Mr Chapman placed newspaper advertisements for “exotic relaxation” daily to drum up business. He employed nine girls, over the two years, who would perform massage with “hand relief” while naked or wearing lingerie.
They would charge $80 for 30 minutes or $150 for an hour, which would be split with Mr Chapman in favour of the girls.
Police seized a laptop, two mobile phones and $110 believed to be connected to the illegal prostitution.
Crown prosecutor Lily Brisick said the Prostitution Enforcement Taskforce received anonymous information about Mr Chapman, who had no criminal history.
But she said the case was not prioritised and the scale of the operation was not realised for some time.
Mr Chapman operated his business under the assumption it was legal as long as he did not have two girls working at the same time.
Barrister Mark McAuley said his client had predominately worked in retail before starting a formal wear business which folded in 2007 after five years. He said Mr Chapman made full and frank admissions to police after his premises were raided in June last year.
Judge Keith Dodds gave Mr Chapman six months to pay the $3000 fine and ordered him to complete 12 months of probation
“I think this sort of unlicensed activity should be regarded seriously,” he said. “The whole point of licensing these activities is to gain some control over prostitution. It seems to me the penalty should be one that may deter others from this sort of unlicensed activity.”
A woman working when Mr Chapman's property was raided in June, Cynthia Narelle Darnell, pleaded guilty last July to knowingly participating in prostitution and was fined $300.
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