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In brief

Sass’ Café case in Monaco: owner and former manager acquitted

Sass’ Café is popular with celebrities - © Sass Café Monaco

The manager Samuel Trèves alias «Samy» and his former director, Pascal Cotillon, were acquitted of the charges against them, after an unprecedented trial.

The affair has caused quite a stir in Monaco. The Sass’ Café, an emblematic Monegasque nightspot, has been caught up in a pimping scandal. The hearing was held over three days in April, but the Criminal Court of Monaco only delivered its verdict on Tuesday, May 14.


The hearing established that there was no wrongdoing, it’s a huge satisfaction,” commented Maître Antoine Vey, lawyer for the Sass’ Café owner, Samuel Trèves. He and his former manager, Pascal Cotillon, were both acquitted.

According to Le Figaro, it was considered that the establishment’s turnover did not rely on the sex workers’ presence, and that no ‘institutionalised policies’ were in place. Although the Sass’ Café was in the habit of logging the ‘Travailleuses’ (workers) with a letter T on their booking software, it was a way of regulating “a Monegasque reality,” the two men explained.

Valérie Sagné, acting Attorney General, had initially requested 12 months in prison for the two defendants. For the moment, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has not yet decided whether to appeal the decision. Maître Antoine Vey said he hoped “that the prosecution will not appeal,” and that the decision would herald the end of the case. The Public Prosecutor’s Office has two weeks, until 28 May, to appeal.

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3 former employees sentenced

While the owner and former manager were found not guilty, the same cannot be said of three former employees. According to Monaco Matin, two former security guards were handed 12 and 18 months’ suspended prison sentences, and a former hostess received a 4 months’ suspended sentence.

All three were found guilty of accepting tips and money transfers from several prostitutes.

As a reminder, prostitution is legal in Monaco. However, it is regulated, and procuring is banned.

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Founded 30 years ago, Sass’Café is a Monegasque nightlife mecca and has since expanded to Dubai and Saudi Arabia.