Four Brazilian women sued an American fishing tour operator yesterday, claiming that he coerced them with alcohol, drugs, and the promise of money to perform sex acts with tourists on his boat along the Amazon. The federal complaint targets Richard Schair, who until 2009 operated the Wet-A-Line Tours. It contends he recruited the four underage Brazilians and others from an impoverished community and duped them into performing sex acts on him and his customers. Schair told the AP he is innocent and that the claims originated in a "quest by a competitor to ruin me."
The lawsuit in federal court in north Georgia was brought by four unnamed plaintiffs—one of whom said she was 12 when she was persuaded to come aboard the boat. Another plaintiff said she refused to have sex with a passenger on the boat when she was 16, but then returned about a year later and this time was forced to use drugs and have sex. Schair started his tours in 1998 and would actively recruit "sex tourism" customers from the US. Many of his clients were wealthy Americans. (Read more sex trafficking stories.)