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A Haifa District Court on Sunday sentenced a brothel owner to five years in prison for human trafficking and pandering.

In addition, Noam Reizin, 50, from Haifa, will have to pay a fine of NIS 50,000 and another NIS 30,000 in compensation to one of the women who filed a complaint against him.

In 2002 Reizin, who was the owner of a Haifa brothel, reached an agreement with the owner of an Acre brothel to sell him a prostitute in return for a part of his establishment's profits. Reizin later sold the Acre brothel two more women for $10,000.

The women were forcibely held and required to have intercourse with some 25 clients a day. They were paid NIS 50 daily. In November 2002 they managed to escape.

A recent report revealed defendants found guilty of human trafficking are sentenced on average to less than three years in prison, despite a maximum sentence of 16 years.

Women's rights activist lawyer Naomi Levenkrun said some 36 percent of those found guilty of human trafficking had already been tried for similar counts in the past.

She added that light sentences and failure to impose fines failed to deter convicts from repeating their crimes.

In their ruling, the judges explained why they gave a light sentence to Reizin.

"Though we convicted the defendant of human trafficking, the most serious of all offenses he was convicted of, in delivering our sentence we must distinguish between Yasha, who bought the women, and the defendant, who was not a part of the actual purchase," they wrote.