Published On: Tue, Oct 16th, 2018

Court reopens Casablanca-investigation

Court House Philipsburg St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG – The Common Court of Justice has reopened the investigation in the so-called Casablanca-case about the exploitation of prostitutes and depriving these women of their freedom. The Court in First Instance sentenced all suspects in this case, but the appeals court found that the investigation is incomplete.

This is mainly due to the fact that defendant Joan Peterson – who received a sentence of 24 months with 12 months suspended in first instance – made incriminating statements about co-defendant Calma Josephine Priest, the 69-year old owner of the Casablanca building.  Peterson told the court that she got her instructions about how to deal with the women from Priest.

Because Calma Priest was not present at the hearing where Peterson made these statements, the court now wants to give Priest the opportunity to react to these allegations. Priest maintained earlier that she has nothing to do with the exploitation of the brothel and that she is only the owner of the building.

The lower court sentenced Priest to 44 days of imprisonment with deduction of time already served. Jessica and McQuincy Reiph were both sentenced to 730 days, with 385 days suspended and a 15,000 guilders fine. David Eustace was sentenced to 342 days with deduction if time already served.

The court has now reopened and suspended the investigation and will summon all defendants as soon as a new court date has been set.

Casa Blanca