- Robert Kraft was charged Friday with soliciting prostitution as part of a takedown on a large sex trafficking ring in Florida.
- In the trafficking operation, women came from China to the United States on temporary work visas, believing they’d receive legitimate jobs.
- Instead, they were put to work at spa and massage parlors that doubled as sites for prostitution, according to police.
- The women lived at the parlors and performed sex acts in exchange for money during massage appointments, according to a police report.
The charges against Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, on Friday were part of a larger takedown operation against a sex trafficking ring that spanned at least 10 spa and massage parlors in Florida.
Many of the victims came from China on temporary work visas,according to David Currey, the chief of the Vero Beach Police Department, which was involved in the operation. At a press conference, he said that they believed they’d receive a legitimate job in US.
“Some of them are trying to make a better life for themselves,” he said. “These people truly are stuck.”
It was an enormous effort, involving multiple police agencies and charges against 173 different people. Some of the details about the ring’s operation were revealed in a report released by the Jupiter Police Department.
The Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter was one of the sites under investigation. The two managers of the spa were Hua Zhang, who was identified as the site operator on property records, and Lei Wang, who told a health inspector she was a manager there.
In November, police requested that the Florida Department of Health conduct a routine inspection after they surveilled the spa and saw postings about illicit sexual activity there on Rubmaps.com, a forum where people post about “erotic massage parlors.”
The health investigator found rooms with beds, including sheets and pillows, along with dressers that housed clothing, medicine, and personal items. From that evidence, police concluded that the victims lived at the parlor.
“Inside the kitchen of the business, [the health inspector] located a refrigerator filled with foods and condiments consistent with individuals living inside,” the police report said.
Later that day, officers looked at the spa’s trash for evidence, which is legal in the state of Florida. The officers said they found payment records and crumbled napkins that contained seminal fluids.
The police obtained a warrant for non-audio surveillance camera footage inside the business. From the cameras, police saw customers enter, pay at the front desk, and then go into a massage room. In the massage rooms, the customers would receive some sort of massage and then engage in sexual activity, according to the report. In many cases, they groped the women giving them massages, the report said.
Afterwards, they gave the spa employee cash, ranging from as low as $US7 to $US100, according to the police surveillance.
Zhang and Wang, who managed the business, were among those who performed the sex acts, according to the report. But police said they also roped their employees into sex work.
Almost everyone who entered the business was male, according to police surveillance. And most of the income for the business, the report said, was generated by prostitution instead of legitimate spa services.
“The majority of income generated by the Orchids of Asia spa was a result of the prostitution crimes,” the report reads. “Zhang and Wang were not only willing participants in committing crimes of prostitution inside the spa, but also employed others for that purpose.”
- Read more:
- Victims of alleged human trafficking ring that ensnared Robert Kraft were forced to live in massage parlors and perform sex acts, according to police
- ‘I was very surprised to see it’: Trump responds to charges against friend and Patriots owner Robert Kraft
- New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution
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