UPDATE: Sex Trafficking Suspects Plead Not Guilty

A Malden woman, Wenjie Dong, 49, was among the three arrested and facing charges of running an illegal prostitution operation.

A Malden woman and two other suspects pleaded not guilty to charges Friday they allegedly operated massage parlors offering sexual services in the Boston area.

Joseph Girouard, 55, of Revere, and Wenjie Dong, 49, of Malden, were arraigned this morning in Chelsea District Court each on one count each of trafficking in persons for sexual servitude and keeping a house of ill fame. 

Zhen Lai, 37, of Quincy, was arraigned this afternoon in Dedham District Court on one count each of Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Servitude and Conspiracy to Traffic in Persons for Sexual Servitude.

Officials say the three owned and operated Sun Spa (also known as Sun Studio) in Wellesley and Bodywork in Revere, where masseuses allegedly offered sexual activity in exchange for cash tips. 

The services were also allegedly advertised on the internet. 

Bail was set at $5,000 for Girouard and at $1,000 for Dong, with the conditions that the defendants stay away from both massage parlor locations and have no contact with each other. Dong was also ordered to surrender her passport. 
Lai received a $2,000 bail with similar conditions of release. 

A press release from Attorney General Martha Coakley's office said the three were arrested "without incident" Thursday, following a multi-agency, multi-state raid that included agents from the State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

The arrests are Coakley's second human trafficking case under the commonwealth's new human trafficking law, which went into effect on Feb. 19.

David Marsters October 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Make prostitution legal and tax it, state would make more than just fining them. The girls would have to get a health certificate. It is the oldest profession so lets get with it in modern times. We have medical marijuana laws now.
Tony Vargas October 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Innocent people go to jail>>Bad ones have money to bail out. David Master if they legalize prostitution would u let ur wife be one????
Meggle October 21, 2012 at 12:38 AM
The larger crime here is the accusation of human trafficking. Sex work should be legal, but the fact that they are charging them with human trafficking means that something even more sinister was happening, and the women "staffing" their spas were likely not there by their own free will. If they are convicted it's a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20, but if any of their victims were under 18 they could face life in prison.
Steve O October 22, 2012 at 08:13 PM
"sex work should be legal" Do you have a sister or daughter? I would bet many of the young girls involved in prostitution aren't willing participants.


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