ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orange County bar was paid a visit by code enforcement for the second day in a row after inspections were prompted by Channel 9’s series of reports showing how it was operating illegally.
Earlier this week, a man employed by the bar's owner was arrested for a horrific case of human trafficking on the property behind J&J Sports Bar.
Channel 9's Anthony DiLorenzo was at the bar on Wednesday as an Orange County building inspector enforced the order to shut it down for a second day.
“We left you written notice yesterday and want to make sure you know,” the inspector told the bar owner.
Officials found the bar on Goldenrod Road was operating illegally without a certificate of occupancy, and it had a myriad of violations.
The inspection came a day after authorities said customers were paying for prostitution in a van behind the bar. A criminal investigation found a 17-year-old girl was locked in this van and kept as a sex slave.
Rafael Rosario is still in jail on human trafficking charges.
“I don't know if it’s true or not,” said bar manager Carlos Lopez. “If it was true, I’m glad he’s (in jail).”
Lopez said he manages the bar and has a license to run the business. Despite the mandate from code enforcement, he insisted the business would stay open.
“They’re not going to be closed down,” he said.
If that's the case, the building department is vowing to have the power pulled from the building.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is aware and concerned about the situation. Her spokeswoman told Channel 9 the building department is following the steps necessary to ensure the safety of citizens.