[Stop-traffic] News/US: Jury hears two versions on first day of sex-slave trial

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Jury hears two versions on first day of sex-slave trial
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Jul 19 2000 - 09:06:04 EDT

Jury hears two versions on first day of sex-slave trial
Arkansas-Democrat Gazette, July 18, 2000

Two Chinese women, desperate to leave their country, were either lured to
America and then used as sex slaves or were rescued by kind Americans they
then used and betrayed.

Jurors heard both of those versions on Monday as opening statements from
six attorneys took up the entire first day of an expected four to six-week
federal trial of five Arkansans. All are accused of conspiring to violate
immigration laws between October 1991 and May 1997 to get the women into
the United States for the purpose of satisfying one defendant's sexual

That defendant, David Jewell Jones, 69, of Bryant is a real estate
developer and former general manager and part-owner of KARK-TV, Channel 4,
who also serves on the boards of Baptist Health and Henderson State
University in Arkadelphia. He previously taught high school and Sunday
school and recently celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary. His wife and
their adult son and daughter were in the courtroom Monday.

Jones' attorney, Sam Perroni of Little Rock, called the charges not only
false but also "vague and unspecific."

Noting that both women have applied for citizenship, with help from federal
prosecutors, Perroni said, "these ladies have a joint motive to give false
testimony. They knew each other before they came to the United States, and
they've been in contact with each other since they've been here. The
evidence will show that they cooked this up so they could stay in the
United States."

Like Perroni, five other defense attorneys, one after another, described
the women as conniving liars and the charges as weak and unsubstantiated.

The other defendants are Jones' friend since boyhood, Fordyce dentist Bob
Newton Rushing, 69, an alleged "sham groom" for one of the women; Jones'
good friend Tony Ma, 56, of Mabelvale, who owns Tony's Chinese Restaurant
in Little Rock; Ma's wife, Mary Ma, 28, who is expecting the couple's third
child in February; and lawyer Mark Riable, 45, of Little Rock, a former
part-time municipal judge who performed the alleged "sham marriage" for
Rushing and Jones.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Jegley told the nine-man, three-woman jury
that Jones enlisted the help of the other defendants, his trusted friends
and business associates, to help him get the women -- then in their 30s --
to the United States on phony fiance visas. Once in Arkansas, Jones
allegedly had consensual sex with one of them, known as "Miss W," and then
later forced the other one, known as "Miss Z," to have sex with him once a
week for a year.

The letters by which the women are known represent the first letters of
their last names. Both are expected to testify.

Both sides agree that Jones met the women when he and Rushing accompanied
Tony Ma to Guangzhou, China, in October 1991, after Tony Ma -- a
naturalized U.S. citizen of many years -- put the word out in China that he
was looking for a Chinese bride to take back to America.

Mary Ma, whose name was then Shao Jeng Deng, was among the women who showed
up at the White Swan hotel to be interviewed by Tony Ma for consideration
as his wife, though none of the women had ever met him. But during the
process, Jegley said, Jones took an interest in Miss W and asked if she
would come to the United States on a student visa.

Back home, Jones arranged for the woman to get a full scholarship to
Henderson State, but her visa application fell through, prompting Jones to
initiate Plan B, Jegley said.

She said he had Rushing, then 62, fill out a fiance visa application for
the woman, then 32. But Rushing didn't want his girlfriend to know what he
was up to, so shortly after Miss W arrived on that visa on Sept. 9, 1992,
Jones got Riable to perform a secret wedding ceremony in a van parked
outside the Montgomery County Courthouse, Jegley said. She noted that the
location was far away from where any of the parties lived.

The woman never lived with Rushing, living instead in a house owned by
Jones that was next door to the Mas, Jegley said. She charged that Jones
had sex with the woman, but only after arranging through Baptist Health for
her to have free surgery to remove an ovarian cyst.

Defense attorneys contend that the free surgery and the marriage to a U.S.
citizen were Miss W's sole motivation for coming to the United States,
which she left in January 1993, saying she was tired of Arkansas. The
attorneys note that she later used her married name to return to the United
States, unbeknownst to any of the defendants, and live in Seattle for five
years. The marriage was actually over, however, with Riable having gotten a
divorce for Rushing.

Prosecutors say that the defendants next conspired to bring Miss Z to the
United States, again on a phony fiance visa, so that Jones could have sex
with her -- against her will. But defense attorneys say that Tony Ma found
a friend, Levy Johns, who agreed to marry the woman to get her to the
United States so she could be a nanny for the Mas' children.

Attorneys noted that arranged marriages are legal and common in China, and
that U.S. laws don't require love to be a part of marriage.

But when Miss Z arrived in Arkansas and learned that Johns -- who later
died of a heart attack -- was "old and poor," she refused to marry him,
Jegley said. She alleged that Tony Ma ordered the woman to "take care of
Mr. Jones," and that Jones forced her to have sex with him, all the while
both men threatening her family in China if she reported them to authorities.

Defense attorneys, however, contend that Miss Z worked in the Mas'
restaurant, located near Arkansas State Police headquarters, which they
said is frequented by many law enforcement officers. They say she could
have reported any abuse at any time. She left, they say, because she didn't
like children, and had a plan to steal from Jones and Tony Ma.

Perroni suggested that the women were influenced by "Diamond Jimmy" Ng, a
Chinese gangster who lived in Los Angeles and had associations with
organized crime. Perroni noted that Miss Z ended up living with Ng for
several months when she left Little Rock.

"There was a foundation being built to try to extort money out of David
Jones and Tony Ma through these false allegations of sex," Perroni said. He
warned jurors that "this sexual testimony is going to become pretty graphic."

Mary Ma's attorney, Rita Looney of Little Rock, told jurors that Miss Z was
jealous of the "sweet marriage" the Mas had and of their children and their
business and that as a result she became angry and bitter.

"This case is about betrayal. ... It is about two jealous, vindictive
women," Looney said.

Looney said the two women would do anything to remain in America. She said
that Miss Z once proclaimed that "she would rather kill herself in America
than go back to that God-forsaken place."
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
Stop-traffic is facilitated, international electronic list
funded by the Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
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