Austin & Oklahoma City: Immigrant women forced into prostitution Print E-mail

Thursday August 3 2006

Documents say brothels used immigrant women

They allegedly were part of a ring that had operated in several states

Associated Press

AUSTIN ­ Brothels in the Austin area and Oklahoma City that used immigrant women and catered mostly to undocumented workers were part of a multistate prostitution ring that federal agents have partially broken up, court documents say.

Women from Mexico and Central and South American countries worked in the prostitution houses and in some cases reported being held against their will, documents show.

The brothel near Austin was the second in that area run by the same man, officials allege.

Juan Balderas-Orosco, 34, escaped capture when authorities raided the first one four years ago.

He was arrested June 29 after a yearlong surveillance operation and charged with transporting women to engage in prostitution.

Four others face similar charges. Balderas has been ordered held without bail pending a hearing. His court-appointed lawyer declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said she did not know details of the case.

In 2002, immigration agents and Austin police raided a house, which they later said was a brothel run by Balderas. They arrested two Mexican men and two women ­ one from Colombia and the other from the Dominican Republic.

The women told agents they were moved among locations in several states and forced to perform sex acts for money, court documents said.

The men accused of working for Balderas pleaded guilty in federal court to transporting and harboring illegal immigrants, served 15 months in prison and were deported.