Charges dropped against accused brothel operator

Evidence insufficient, state says

2 alleged prostitutes wouldn't testify

November 10, 2009|By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

Prosecutors dropped human trafficking and prostitution charges Monday against Carlos Silot, who was accused last year of running a brothel that catered to Hispanic men from a rented rowhome in the Patterson Park area.

"The evidence was insufficient to proceed with the charges," said Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer McAllister.

Silot, who was free on $15,000 bail, could not be reached Monday, nor could his attorney, listed in court records as Assistant Public Defender Arvaham Stone.

The case was initially presented to the public as something of a slam-dunk, with a list of evidence that included a customer roster, photographs, condoms and house business cards that claimed a "cleaning" service was run there.

But in April, two women who said they were brought in from Mexico to prostitute vowed that they wouldn't testify against Silot, and no other witnesses were forthcoming. The other information wasn't strong enough to stand on its own.

Charging documents and court papers described a bustling scene, where neighbors saw a stream of men arriving and leaving, causing residents to lodge "countless complaints." Men were charged $30, half going to the women, documents claimed.

Police said Silot told one undercover detective that business was closed for the day because "the girls are tired."

Officers found "large quantities of condoms and personal lubricants" in two bedrooms when they searched the house in September 2008, when Silot and two women were arrested.

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