CHICAGO (CBS) – An undocumented “madam” is charged with running at a Little Village neighborhood brothel where she pimped young women and girls out for prostitution.
Rubicela Montero, 39, allegedly disguised the brothel as a massage parlor.
One of the six employees was a 16-year-old girl who was picked up from high school several times a week and pimped out until 8 or 9 p.m., prosecutors said.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office busted the operation as part of a sex trafficking investigation after receiving a hotline tip from one of the victims, according to a release.
Montero was charged with one count each of involuntary servitude and involuntary servitude of a minor — both Class X felonies — and one count each of trafficking in persons for forced labor or services, and pandering, state’s attorney’s office spokesman Andy Conklin said.
Montero was ordered held on $400,000 bond Wednesday and a preliminary hearing was set for Dec. 13, he said.
Montero has been pimping young women and girls out of a house near 31st Street and Millard Avenue, prosecutors said. She allegedly advertised as a “Full Service Massage” operation in Spanish-language newspapers and via business cards.
Chicago police received an anonymous tip from a Human Trafficking Hotline and saw the same number advertised in the paper. Montero was arrested as part of an undercover sting after she offered women for sex in exchange for money, the release said.
She kept the apartment stocked with a bucket full of condoms, lubricants and other supplies used in sex trafficking, court records show. Three women were working at the time of the bus, and all three reported being lured into the business under false pretenses, court records indicate.
They reported being threatened by Montero if they tried to quit. She told one that something terrible would happen to them and their families if they quit, prosecutors allege. Another victim was told something would happen to her daughter, while another was told she’d turn up dead in an alley.
One of the three women found at the brothel turned out to be the original hotline caller, prosecutors said.
Investigators learned six females were working at the brothel during various shifts and clients would pay more for the 16-year-old girl.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.