Yan Wang, Ying Zhao, and Shu Yuan Sun of Hallandale Beach, Florida were arrested Wednesday after they were accused of operating a prostitution ring out of a massage parlor, news sources report. Wang, the owner of the parlor, is charged with unlicensed practice of health care, permitting unlicensed persons to practice massage, deriving support from proceeds of prostitution, and receiving prostitution into the building. Zhao, an employee, is charged with unlicensed practice of health care; Sun, another employee, is charged with offering to commit or engage in prostitution. The defendants were all booked into the Broward County Main Jail; it is unclear whether they qualified for bail bond. Reports have not yet mentioned whether any of the defendants has hired a lawyer.
According to reports, Wang is the owner of MemeX Massage Parlor, which is located on East Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Reports say Sun and Zhao are both employees at the parlor. It is not yet clear whether the defendants offered themselves for sexual services or just operated the ring. So far, Wang has not commented on the allegations against her institution. It is unclear how the arrests will affect the future of the parlor.
The investigation into the alleged prostitution began when Hallandale Beach police received a number of reports of prostitution and human trafficking occurring at MemeX Massage Parlor. Detectives went undercover to investigate the claims; according to police, several detectives were offered sexual services in exchange for money within the parlor. Detectives attained a warrant for Wang, Zhao, and Sun’s arrest on Wednesday. It is unclear whether anyone else will be arrested.
In other news, Gordon Lagerstrom of Jensen Beach was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of sexually assaulting two young girls, reports say. The victims, both now adults, said the abuse occurred when they were under the age of 12. Lagerstrom, 57, was booked into the Martin County Jail on charges of lewd or lascivious molestation and sexual battery on a child. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail or hired legal representation.
According to reports, the victims either stayed or lived with Lagerstrom during the time of the abuse. It was not immediately clear what relationship Lagerstrom was to the victims. The victims, who are both now adults, reported the abuse to police sometime this year.
The victims say Lagerstrom would wait until he was alone with the girls, usually at night, to commit the abuse. According to the victims’ testimony, Lagerstrom would sometimes expose the victims to pornographic magazines and touch them in inappropriate places.
Police conducted a monitored phone call between Lagerstrom and the victims. During that call, Lagerstrom reportedly admitted to the abuse and said he was humiliated by what he had done to the victims. In addition, Lagerstrom said he too was the victim of sexual abuse as a child. Police are currently conducting an investigation and it is not yet clear whether they will identify additional victims.