NEWS: USA: 13 women arraigned in prostitution case

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Jyothi Kanics---Global Survival Network (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Fri, 9 Oct 1998 13:08:51 -0700 (PDT)


13 women arraigned in prostitution case
A raid on Atlantic City massage parlors netted the women, from Korea and
Thailand.

By Amy S. Rosenberg
The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 9, 1998

ATLANTIC CITY -- Thirteen women, all from either Korea or Thailand, were
arraigned yesterday on prostitution charges stemming from police raids this
week on four 24-hour massage parlors in downtown Atlantic City.

Police sources said some of the women were believed to have been brought
over from Asia and forced to work as prostitutes in parlors allegedly run
by Asian organized crime.

The women typically work six months in a city before being moved to another
location, police said, and operate under an "indentured servant" status, to
pay off the expense of bringing them to the United States.

"Where are they going to run to?" said Police Vice Capt. Joseph Fair. "They
have no money, no papers. They have no language skills."

Indeed, all but two of the 13 women arraigned yesterday by video from Mays
Landing, where the jail is, at Atlantic City Municipal Court required an
interpreter to tell the judge whether they would require a public defender.
Most said they would.

In a sting they dubbed "Operation Rub Out," undercover police raided four
massage parlors in the city on Wednesday evening, bringing into custody 21
women. Eight were not charged, but four of those were taken into federal
custody because they lacked legal papers. Immigration officials were
investigating the status of the 13 women who were charged, police said.

Police Vice Capt. Joseph Fair said police, the FBI, and immigration and IRS
officials would be combing through 30 boxes of documents in an effort to
trace the operations up through the ranks and target the people profiting
from the businesses.

Fair said he anticipated further arrests as the investigation progresses.

Police said they were also working with the city solicitor's office to draw
up stricter regulations for licensing the massage parlors. There are
currently eight applications to open massage parlors pending, and 10
already operate in the city, including the four raided this week.

Fair said that laws governing massage parlors in Las Vegas, New Orleans and
Fort Lauderdale are much more restrictive than laws in Atlantic City.

Fair said the effort to crack down on street prostitutes along Pacific
Avenue five or six years ago has pushed the always burgeoning prostitution
trade in Atlantic City to massage parlors and escort services, which take
up 27 pages in the local Yellow Pages.

The parlors, which advertise as 24-hour operations in the Yellow Pages, are
located within blocks of the casinos on the Boardwalk. Police said they
cater to tourists and locals alike.


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