“At home I said that I got the money for a photo shooting”

Forrás: Direkt36 - Németh Gyula

On a late Saturday afternoon in May 2011, a man in his late fifties and five young women were waiting in front of the Allee shopping mall in the South of Budapest, getting ready to leave. Before their meeting, the man asked the girls to do three things. First, that anyone who is shy should rather stay at home. Second, he asked them not to be late. And finally, he told everybody to bring a big pack of condoms.

The girls were prostitutes, invited for a birthday sex party to Budaörs, 10 kilometres from Budapest. The team had a sixth member, but she, breaking the second rule, arrived 10 minutes late. This is why, in the end, they turned into the street of the party house, close to the M1-highway, with 10 minutes of delay. The first car was the man’s old blue Peugeot wagon, followed by the second car in which those girls were sitting who could not fit in the Peugeot.

The group that ordered the women rented a place with swimming pools, beds and a spacious common room where, according to their plans, in 3-4 hours “everybody gets to fuck everyone”. They invited the prostitutes through the man in his late fifties, who only had to make a couple of phone calls to arrange girls for the party. He did not stay at the house but drove away as soon as he received his share from the girls’ payment. He got 120 thousand forints (450 euros at the current exchange rate) in total for the six girls.

The participants of the party were already drunk, and when the girls arrived they told them to undress to lingerie as the “party is starting now.” Dénes, a bald man whose birthday way celebrated, let the girls know the rules of the game: everybody receives 100 000 forints for the night (375 euros at the current exchange rate), and if someone is very adept (for example, is ready to have anal sex with him), will receive 50 000 forints (188 euros at the current exchange rate) as a premium. The girls first chatted with the man, had a couple of drinks and then went to separate rooms in pars or they had sex in front of each other. This swapping sex party went on for four hours.

The man who drove the girls in his car to the party was Lajos Répás, who first became known as the organizer of various beauty contest but last year was charged in court with procuring prostitution. The 2500-page-long files of the investigation, obtained by Direkt36, offer an unusually deep insight into the world of high-class prostitution. The records of tapped phone calls, testimonies, and other reports made by the police reveal that, if someone has enough money, porn starts, models and contestants of beauty pageants can be bought for 60-80 thousand forints per hour (220-300 euros at the current exchange rate) – might it be about a couple of hours of conversations, dinners, partying or sex work either for a few hours or for the whole night. “If I want to feel in a porn movie, he knows a very decorative girl who is open to anything” – said one client about Répás.

Répás’ case is already in court, and there were other similar cases made public before. The investigation files obtained by Direkt36 are special because they reveal many details not only about the sex encounters themselves, but they also show the dark human side of this seemingly fancy world.

Carrot Papa, or simply My Lajos

The records reveal many details about the participants of the party in Budaörs as well. The files show that one of the girls has not even turned 18 at the time of the party. That morning, Répás was still explaining to her over the phone that during this kind of parties one should put a new condom on the men for every new intercourse – the girl calmed Répás down, saying that she had been already aware of this. This birthday orgy was her first sex work, and she received more than 100 000 forints (more than 375 euros at the current exchange rate). “At home I said that I got the money for a photo shooting” – testified the girl, who was living with her unemployed mother and old grandmother. She told the police that she took the jobs because of the financial problems of her family.

The girl also said that she only met Répás by accident. A few months before the Budaörs party, she was walking on the Grand Boulevard of Budapest, on Szent István körút, when a man stopped her and told her that she was so beautiful that she should participate in beauty contests. This man knew Lajos Répás, organizer of Miss Hungary beauty pageant, and he gave Répás’ contact details to the girl.

The now 63-year-old Répás, who walks with a limp due to a knee problem, had been working in the beauty industry since 1998. Répás, a very tall, confident-looking former basketball player organized other similar contests: the Miss Tini Hungary for girls aged between 14-18, the Miss Bikini for girls who have a very sporty body and the Supersexy Photomodell contest of those girls, of whom – according to Répás’ description – “Playboy kind of” photos will be made. The contests are organized through his company Miss Model Agency Ltd, co-owned by him and his two daughters who also worked as models.

However, according to their business data, organizing beauty contests was not a very lucrative business: the model agency made 5.2 million forints (16600 euros) of loss in 2009, and closed 2010 with a 10.6 million forints (339000 euros) of loss. According to the investigation files, in one case Répás did not pay the rent for the venue of his events, and he even went into a long e-mail correspondence with an event organizer company about what would be the best way for him to pay off his debts. For the Prosecutor’s Office bringing charges against Répás, he prepared a hand-written note saying that the organization of the beauty contests are paid by sponsors and applications fees. However, in the past few years some of the sponsors left, so, Répás said, this is why the costs of the Model Agency are covered by his other activities, for example hostess and model jobs.

Répás claims that through his agency he knows every Hungarian model, and many celebrities also have connections with his company. He has several thousands of friends on Facebook, many of them young and pretty girls. According to his messages on his phone and Facebook that police obtained during the investigation, Répás was in contact with a huge number of girls. Some of them called him Répa, Répuci, Papa, Répapapa or Lajosom (from his Hungarian name, Répás that means carroty, this nicknames could translated as: Carrot, Little Carrot, Papa, Carrot Papa, or My Lajos).

Répás sometimes sent Facebook-messages to unknown girls he found attractive, and invited them to his office on the Grand Boulevard of Budapest. The investigation files reveal that the landlord of the office was exchanging e-mails with Répás for several months, asking him not to amass more debt than the 2-3 months that “he is allowed to”, and at least he should pay for his own utility bills from the past months. The other tenants in the apartment house regularly complained that there are too many unknown people frequenting Répás’ office, they are making too much noise and shutting the main gate too loudly.

One hour of sex, one new washing machine

This is the office to which Répás invited the underage girl who was catcalled on the street by one of his acquaintances. According to her testimony, the first time she went to the office Répás immediately wanted to have sex with her, “just to try her”, but the girl resisted. The girl told in her testimony that Répás brought up in his defence that “ok, it might have been a bit too quick”, but, as he said, he really liked the girl. After this, they started to talk about job opportunities as the girl wanted to earn some money besides her studies. He warned her that she has to keep her age secret because Répás “might be busted for this”. So if anyone asks, she should tell that she is already 19 or 20. For her first job, the girl had to go for a dinner in a steak house in the city centre, and chat with several men and women. For this she received 100 000 forints (375 euros at the current exchange rate). In a few weeks, however, Répás informed her that these conversational jobs are very rare, the clients generally pay for sex.

Similarly to this underage girl, for many women these jobs meant long- or short-term solution for financial problems. “Hi Lajos! Pls give me a job these days, I have bill problems” – wrote one of the women in a text message. Another women, according to the records of the tapped phone conversations, was very happy when Répás offered her a job, as she had just bought a washing machine for 60000 forints (220 euros at the current exchange rate) – and one hour of sex would nicely cover these costs.

During the testimonies every woman was asked about what income they had and they gave very similar answers. “I’m unemployed, my family pays for my living”, or “I’m living on by-works, for example model or hostess jobs and photo shooting.” The prostitutes included students of vocational schools and even some university students, for example one girl who was doing a distance learning course of Liberal Arts. Another girl contacted Répás after she had been fired from secondary school and also had quit from a night club on Váci Street of Budapest, where she had been dancing in lingerie for 20000 forints (65 euros) a week plus “panties-money”. Others said that it is always their current boyfriend who pays for their living. According to the testimony of one of the girls many of them were searching for a rich boyfriend among their clients – they wanted to have a sponsor, as they call him.

The Prosecutor’s Office brought charges against Répás in August 2014, accusing him of procuring prostitution and pimping, but his trial is likely to go on for several more years. In total 107 witnesses were summoned, but so far only a very small number of people have turned up at the court. Répás is very active during the hearings: every time when he is given the possibility, he jumps up from the bench and vividly gesticulates while he talks in his own defence, or bombards the women who came to court as witnesses with questions. According to some people who know him, in his pre-trial detention he used his time to read everything he could find about the laws in connection with his case as he wanted to become a true expert of the field. During one of his hearings he was talking so quickly that the person taking the minutes had to ask him several times to slow down, and his confident arguments provoked repressed smiles and some giggling from the audience.

Répás argues that he did not force anyone to do anything, women contacted him by their own free will and they were the ones asking him to offer jobs for them. Répás claims that he did this through his model and hostess mediating agency, and the income that he gained from his activities did not increase his own wealth but was reinvested into his business, through which Répás also organized beauty contests. The investigation files contain Répás’ manuscripts that explains how his real activities as an agent differed from the charges brought against him. For example, he drew a chart saying while procuring is present in the sex industry with the participation of a prostitute, a pimp and a guest, his agency’s activities are in the field of beauty and entertainment industry and the people involved are called on different names (the girl, the agent and the principal).

In the manuscript Répás also details the kinds of hostess works for which he organized women: he differentiates event-, translator-, social- and party hostess girls. According to his definition, party hostess girls, for example, “are beautiful girls who raise the prestige of the event with their presence and dresses, and they enhance the mood with their dance, conversations and smiles”. Répás and his lawyer, István Kléber, expressed the defendant’s position in a written statement, claiming that Répás has been subject to a disadvantage because of the “prudery of the society and immaturity of the case law”. While Répás has to defend himself at court, there are many websites and dating agencies with clearly lucrative aims that can operate undisturbed, they argued. In contrast with them, Répás’ women were only ordered for hostess jobs, “whether they had sex with someone depended on personal sympathy and on their autonomous decision”, the statement said.

The testimony given by one of Répás’ clients is in line with these arguments. If he ordered girls from Répás for escort or hostess jobs that meant, he said, that he would have a dinner in a restaurant with the girl “and after that I can fuck her if the girls wants it as well, or if we feel some sympathy towards each other”. On the other hand, the organizer of the Budaörs party mentioned in the introduction had different ideas about the meaning of sympathy: “The girls’ task was to entertain the guests and have sex with them in case of sympathy. Sympathy did not depend on the girls – the participants decided if they wanted have sex with a girl.”

Many women testified that an escort or hostess job meant sex work. “It was needless to say that the clients would want to have sex (…) it’s obvious that they are not coming here just to take us for a dinner” – said one of the prostitutes. According to many testimonies, if Répás said work over the phone that meant sex work. If he had some jobs to offer that did not involve sex he explicitly emphasized that, calling it a conversational job. The investigation files show that judging from the price offered by the clients, the prostitutes could also easily find out what the client wanted – the jobs that paid better, certainly involved sex.

Répás worked with different tariffs. “Normal models cost 200 euros per hour, but the better ones, those who have already appeared on the front page of Playboy, CKM and Covergirl cost 200-300 euros” – Répás informed one of the potentials clients about the price of the girls, during a tapped phone conversation in May 2011. Girls had to pay 20-25 percent of their payment as “tax”, which was the amount that Répás received for acting as a middleman between the girls and the clients. Répás told the authorities this money was paid in exchange for his efforts, as he “had to select the exact type of girl or a certain person from thousands of girls” according to the clients’ wishes.

When a billionaire used his business email

Based on the police’s documents, Répás selected the girls based on his personal tests. One woman told the police that the first time when she went to Répás’ office, the man showed her a catalogue and pointed at the girls, saying that “I fucked this one yesterday, and I also fucked this other one.” Then he asked the woman: “What did you think? How do I decide who gets the job out of 300-400 girls?” Another woman testified that when she went to Répás’ office the first time, he only asked for oral sex to test her, while another woman said that she had to have sex with Répás 3-4 times. “He always got me to do it by blackmailing me, saying that if I don’t have sex with him again there won’t be any jobs for me” – said the girl who was under 18 when she first had to have sex with Répás. According to the investigation files, Répás did not ask for his percentage from the payment if the girl slept with him from time to time. “Half an hour of talking about the job offer + half an hour of kisses” – he wrote to one of the girls in a message, and he said to another that she “would not have to pay the tax if she comes to the office half an hour earlier”.

Répás denied these claims. In an interview one of his daughters even stated that it is true that Répás had a mattress and pillows in a small room in his office, but it was due to the fact that he had a bad knee and during the day he had to sit down to have a bit of rest.

It is not only the testimonies of the girls but also the records of the tapped phone calls that reveal that Répás suggested girls to his clients based on his own experience. He praised one playmate saying that “her boobs are as big as my head”, and he promoted another one telling that “she has the best ass, the best pussy, and she even made her boobs done.” When a long-time female friend called him on the phone and asked if Répás would have some jobs for her, Répás “funnily added that just like at Suzuki, he would do a test drive” with the woman so that he can decide whether she is good enough.

Répás’ office on the Grand Boulevard often functioned as the place where potential clients were introduced to the available girls. If the client liked a girl, he could immediately take her to a hotel room. It was also possible to select the girls from catalogues, leaflets of the agency or the model registration documents.

Répás also offered to send photos of the girls via e-mail. Répás used the info@sexy.hu e-mail address, and he sent the pictures to various e-mail addresses, some of them including words like “bitang”, “kapitány” and “dagadt” (which mean “bad boy”, “captain” and “chubby” in Hungarian). A Hungarian billionaire, CEO of a company, gave an e-mail address of his workplace to Répás so that he sends pictures of some lesbian porn stars who would be up for a threesome with the man and his girlfriend. In the end the billionaire realized that the e-mail address he gave might not be the best choice, as “the whole company sees it”, and asked Répás to delete it.

Répás notified the girls who had been selected over the phone or in short text messages: “Work 8 pm tonight. 150000/2 ok?” meant that a job starting at 8 pm would take 2 hours and the girl would receive 150000 forints (560 euros) for it. The text messages found by the police in Répás’ phone show that the girls were grateful for these offers: “I’m back at home, my Little Carrot! Thanks for everything! I love you!!!” – wrote one of the girls a bit after 11 pm on one day. If Répás did not contact a girl for a long time, they would start to bombard him with several e-mails and text messages. “If you can give a job for me today or tomorrow, I’ll give you 30% of it. Plus we can even have sex ;)” – wrote one girl, with whom Répás was angry because the girl had cancelled one of her jobs before. “But Lajos, I luv U” – wrote the girl to make up to him, and the next day she even asked Répás in a text message: “Lajos daddy, could we be friends again?”.

The women rarely turned down Répás’ job offers. The records of the tapped phone calls show that it happened mostly when they had another better paying meeting scheduled. But some had other reasons too. A young girl had to cancel one of her jobs because her mother would not let her go out because it was too late in the night. A woman turned down an offer because she should have met someone that she knew and she wanted to keep her profession secret. One girl asked Répás to introduce her exclusively to foreigners, to delete her real name from all the databases and only use a pseudo name.

Répás’ business card

Sometimes the girls had to do strange things. During the winter of 2011, for example, three girls had to go to a party in a hunters’ house, where their task was to perform a lesbian show, chat with 6-8 foreigner guests in the Jacuzzi and then have sex with them. But before all these, the women were sent out into the rain: they had to watch a hunting ritual in the garden.

Répás offered some jobs that he described as easy ones. A 65-year-old client, for example, wanted a girl who is very good at oral sex, and for 500000 forints per month (1800 euros at the current exchanges rate) would be the life partner of the man living under luxurious conditions. The girl whom Répás contacted promised that she would “do everything she can to make the man like her”.

According to the investigation files, most of the women tried to get done with their work as quickly as possible. This was the case in a party that took place in a castle hotel where two women were invited to entertain the Russian guests. “When we arrived, we ate something, tried to select the biggest loser of them, we took him and got the job done in two minutes. We asked for our 500-500 euros in advance, and we gave him a blowjob. Then we went home from the party” – told one girl in her testimony about one of the “easy works”.

Most of the nights began with some drinking. Many of the women testified that they got so drunk that they could hardly remember what happened during the night. They did not know how many men they slept with, neither how much money they received for the intercourses. “I was with a man, and there is only one thing I can recall: he was smelly” – this is all one woman could recall about one of her nights. One client was complaining about another prostitute to Répás: “There was nothing, the girl might be on cocaine, and it was very bad” – told the man, adding that the girl did not even let the men to touch him.

The investigation files described more than hundreds of nights like this, but mostly they ended in a similar way: the girls went to the office on the Grand Boulevard to give Répás his share of the night’s payment. However, when Répás was already “trembling for money”, he would rather wait until the girls finish their job, and sometimes even gave them a ride home in his old Peugeot – testified one of the girls. During his trial Répás repeatedly claimed that all the revenue he receives from the organization of these meetings are reinvested in the beauty contests.

Now he is organizing the Miss Hungary 2015, the 25th jubilee contest of the beauty pageant. When he met the journalist of Direkt36, he was happy to give one of his latest catalogues with the photos of the beauty pageant contestants. “This is my business card” – he added with a laugh.

For information on companies, we used the databases of Ceginfo and Opten.