For Immediate Release - January 24, 2013

Operators of Massage Parlors in Wellesley and Revere Indicted in Connection with Human Trafficking, Prostitution

BOSTON – The operators of two massage parlors, one in Wellesley and the other in Revere, have been indicted in connection with human trafficking and prostitution, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Joseph Girouard, 55, of Revere, Zhen Lai, 37, of Quincy, and Wenjie Dong, 49, of Malden, were indicted today by a Statewide Grand Jury. Girouard was indicted on charges of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude (2 counts), Conspiracy to Traffic Persons for Sexual Servitude (2 counts), Deriving Support from Prostitution (2 counts), and Keeping a House of Ill Fame (2 counts). Lai and Dong were indicted on one charge each of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude, Conspiracy to Traffic Persons for Sexual Servitude, Deriving Support from Prostitution, and Keeping a House of Ill Fame.

“These defendants allegedly employed masseuses to offer sexual services at two massage parlor locations, and further, profited personally from those services,” said AG Coakley. “We allege that these defendants exploited these women and coerced them into prostitution.”

Lai, Girouard, and Dong were arrested in October by State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from local police departments.

The indictments today are the result of an extensive investigation by State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, in conjunction with agents from HSI and officers from the Wellesley Police Department, into allegations of human trafficking and prostitution at Sun Spa, also known as Sun Studio, in Wellesley and Bodywork in Revere. Authorities allege that Lai, Girouard, and Dong operated the massage parlors. During the course of the investigation, authorities developed evidence indicating that these massage parlors were allegedly offering sexual activity between masseuses employed by Lai, Girouard, and Dong and their clients in exchange for cash that was characterized as “tips.” The majority of the profit from these sexual services went to the defendants.

Authorities further allege that some of the masseuses employed by these defendants came to Boston from New York to work at the massage parlors for a period of time. Girouard allegedly facilitated transportation for several of these masseuses to and from the parlors. Investigation also revealed that the two parlors were advertised in newspapers and on websites known to advertise prostitution.

Girouard, Lai, and Dong were arrested on October 18 and arraigned the next day. Girouard and Dong were arraigned in Chelsea District Court and Lai was arraigned in Dedham District Court. All three entered pleas of not guilty and were released on bail. They were indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury today and will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Deb Bercovitch, who handles human trafficking prosecutions within the AG’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division. Victim Witness Advocate Nikki Antonucci of the AG’s Victim Services Division is also assisting in the case. The investigation was conducted by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation, and investigators from AG Coakley’s Computer Forensics Lab.  Boston, Wellesley, Revere, Quincy, Kingston, and Malden Police Departments also assisted in the case.

##########

Follow us on Twitter – View our Photos – Visit our Website