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Switzerland

‘Pretty Woman’ Gone Wild: Prostitute Convicted For Stalking Swiss Banker

A 39-year-old Bosnian-born sex worker in Zurich hounded a former client who had tried to break off their relationship. She was convicted of several charges, though the court found her not guilty of "coercion" to have sex.

Prostitution in Switzerland is legal (85mm.ch)
Prostitution in Switzerland is legal (85mm.ch)

*NEWSBITES

ZURICH - "What I don't get is how you violently force a man who is 190 cm (6" 2"") tall, against his will, to drop his pants," said a 39-year-old masseuse and sex worker. The defendant was explaining to a Zurich district court earlier this week why she couldn't be convicted for sexual coercion.

The woman was right on that score – she was not sentenced for coercion, but nevertheless received a 24-month prison sentence for stalking a banker for nearly two years, pressuring him into sex, and other charges.

The sex worker and the married banker – who at the time worked in a top management position in a large Swiss bank – met in 2008. By January 2009, he wanted to break off all contact, but she had fallen in love. So for the next two years, she called, texted and e-mailed him incessantly.

The woman threatened that she would kill herself – or him – and that she would tell his wife about the extramarital affair. Other threats included contacting his work colleagues and telling them stories about him, or showing up at his home or place of work. "You have exactly until 1 PM," reads one text message from the sex worker to the banker. "If we haven't set up a date by then I will take action." A "date" meant "have sex."

That threat and others worked. The banker met the sex worker several times during the stalking period. According to him, the deal was "I'd show up at her place with coffee and croissants, and we would talk. But the way it worked was, she got sex, and I didn't have a chance to drink my coffee or eat my croissant."

His complaint states that he had to have sex with the woman against his will, both because of her threats and her regular locking of the door to her apartment and hiding the key.

To escape the constant solicitations, the banker had to change his habits. He put his business cell phone into silent mode, and deactivated voice mail as well as his home landline. Ultimately, his complaint states, he had to sell his house, he lost his job, and his wife filed for divorce.

The sex worker, a Bosnia-born woman who came to Switzerland when she was two years old, denied none of the charges against her except for sexual coercion. She also declared that there wasn't a man in the room who hadn't used the services of a sex worker, a claim vigorously denied by the judge.

With regard to the sexual coercion charge the court found that the pressure wasn't "strong enough" to constitute coercion. The sex worker was also charged with having misled authorities by neglecting to mention that she earned up to 14,000 Swiss francs ($15,500) a month from prostitution, which meant that she was not entitled to the 220,000 Swiss francs ($246,000) support payments for herself and her daughter that she had been receiving from the state. She was also charged with threats and violence against authorities, and disrespect to two police officers to whom she addressed as "son of a bitch" and "asshole."

However because the psychiatrist who examined the woman reported that she has a "borderline" personality disorder and is emotionally unstable, she will not have to serve the 24-month prison sentence but undergo therapy instead.

Read the original full article in German by Thomas Hasler

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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