With a trial now over, everything is wrapping up for the prostitution case involving the Dove Spa massage parlor in Carmel.
The Range Line Road business – now closed – had been accused of operating as a front for prostitution and several people were arrested in May 2013.
Major Aaron Dietz, commander of the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force, told Current that this case was unique because they found evidence against the employers running the operation as well.
“Often the owners are somewhat insulated from the people committing the prostitution,” he said. “Those are ultimately the people who were responsible.”
Dietz said the women who work as prostitutes are often in many cases forced into that life and could be seen as “captive” in their situation.
“They are somewhat victims, some people would argue that,” he said. “None of these women were trafficked, but we looked at it at as: ‘What kind of life is this?’”
Last month, the jury trial concluded for Jinna Luan, 54, who was charged with promoting prostitution, which is a Class C felony. She was found guilty and sentencing has been scheduled for March.
Lu Wang, 52, who was also charged with promoting prostitution, reached a plea agreement and was sentenced to two years. Four days of jail credit were applied and 726 days were suspended. He was given one-year probation.
Three women, Yajie Liu, 56, Min Yu, 45, and Hui Xiao, 44,will have all of their prostitution charges dropped after they complete a diversion program. Another woman, Toby Hou, 24, who faces prostitution charges, has asked for a jury trial and that’s been set for Feb. 24.
The original arrests occurred on May 1, 2013 after a long investigation. According to past news reports, two cars and $250,000, including $210,000 in cash, were seized during the search and investigation.
Dietz said the news coverage of these charges should deter others from engaging in such activity.
“This should serve as some kind of notice to others who consider this,” he said.
Dietz advises anyone who suspects any suspicious behavior at a local massage parlor to call the police and report it. Some signs include an all-male clientele with all female masseuses, massages that last an usually short amount of time, such as 15 to 20 minutes, lots of customers traveling from out of the area, unusual operating hours and cash-only transactions.