Songying Piao, Xiaoying Wu, Jinghua Sun, Miriam Benedon, and Qing Liang of Tamarac, Florida were arrested Wednesday after they were accused of practicing massage without a valid license, news sources report. Sun and Wu were booked into the Broward County Jail on charges of practicing massage without a license and offering prostitution; Benedon and Liang were hit with just the former charge, Piao with just the latter. It is not yet known whether the defendants qualified for bail. The press did not name an attorney for the defendants.
According to reports, the arrests were a result of a sting operation targeting prostitution and unlicensed massage therapists and massage parlors in Tamarac. Detectives say they received a complaint from an anonymous tipster telling them of the alleged activity at the various parlors.
As part of the investigation, detectives went undercover and visited the defendants’ parlors. An undercover detective visited the Dao Massage parlor in the 5800 block of North University Drive on Wednesday. Sources say Wu worked at the parlor. The detective paid Wu $50 for a massage. At some point during the massage, Wu allegedly sexually stimulated the detective.
An undercover detective visited Piao at the Far East Oriental Massage parlor in the 4600 block of West Commercial Boulevard the same day. Reports say Piao massaged the detective for $60. Piao purportedly massaged the officer’s genitals during the service.
Reports say another undercover detective went to the Sunshine Massage parlor in the 7300 block of West McNab Road on Wednesday as well. There, the detective met with Sun and paid her $40 for a massage. During the massage, Sun allegedly touched the detective’s genitals. When the massage was finished, Sun allegedly said she would perform oral sex in exchange for $50. Detectives also learned that Liang, who also works at the parlor, did not have a license to practice massages.
Detectives also arrested Benedon, who works at Basically Natural massage parlor, for performing massages without a valid license. During the investigation at each massage parlor, detectives say they found no instances of human trafficking.
Piao appeared in court on Thursday, sources say. She told a Broward County Judge that she had recently moved to Florida from New York and started work at the parlor. “You can probably find something else to do for work,” the judge reportedly told her.
In other news, Elijah Slocumb of Key West was arrested after he was accused of masturbating on the beach in front of a woman, reports say. Slocumb, 42, was booked into police custody on unspecified charges. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail or hired legal representation.
According to reports, the incident occurred at Smathers Beach in Key West. The victim was sitting near the beach reading a book when Slocumb sat down several feet away from her. The victim kept reading when she glanced up, she allegedly saw that Slocumb had exposed his genitals and was masturbating.
Police responded to the scene and found Slocumb sitting near the beach. As officers approached him, Slocumb reportedly wiped his hands with a blue towel. It is not clear whether he confessed.