A 45-year-old woman caught acting as a sex worker without a licence said she was only cooking clients dinner at her Bendigo business.
Di Hu, a Chinese citizen who moved to Australia in 2008, was arrested in January and charged with operating an illegal brothel in Galvin Street, in Bendigo’s CBD.
She pleaded guilty to knowingly carrying on business as a sex worker without a licence but claimed she had only used the property to cook dinner for her clients and had not acted as an escort at the premises.
Detectives raided the Galvin Street address on August 7 last year and arrested another Chinese citizen, 55-year-old Hui Liu, who was working at the business as a masseuse and escort.
In a previous court appearance, Liu said she had only worked as a sex worker in Bendigo for one day and was given a $500 fine without conviction.
The Bendigo Magistrates Court heard this week that Hu had been running the business and had hired Liu as a temporary replacement.
Advertisements for escort services at the business were placed in the classifieds section of the Bendigo Advertiser last year.
Hu said she became involved in the sex industry to help pay for her daughter’s education at Melbourne University.
The court heard Hu had worked as a primary and secondary school teacher in China, but when she arrived in Australia she was told she would have to enrol in a three-year course to become qualified.
Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said she appreciated that Hu was only in the industry for financial reasons, but said Hu had been operating as a sex worker at the premises without a licence.
Hu was fined $500 without conviction.