- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Two Indicted for Trafficking Women for Sex at Springfield “Massage Parlors”
Boston — Two individuals have been indicted on human trafficking and money laundering charges for trafficking women for sex at two Springfield “massage parlors” set up as fronts for illicit activity, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Stephen C. Forsley, age 65, of Bernardston, and Liu Yang, age 61, of Springfield, were indicted today by a Statewide Grand Jury on the charges of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude, Money Laundering, Deriving Support from Prostitution, Conspiracy to Traffic Persons for Sexual Servitude, and Keeping House of Ill Fame. Forsley and Yang will be arraigned in Hampden Superior Court on the charges at a later date.
The defendants were originally arrested in January as the result of a months-long joint investigation by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Springfield Police Department.
During the course of the investigation, authorities developed evidence indicating that Forsley and Yang ran a profitable and organized criminal enterprise through “massage parlors” that had been set up as fronts for human trafficking. The businesses were the Day Spa and the Health and Relaxation Spa, both in Springfield.
Through these businesses, Forsley and Yang allegedly offered sexual activity between women and buyers in exchange for a fee. The AG’s Office alleges that the defendants advertised sexual services online and transported victims. Yang allegedly received the majority of the profits from these sexual encounters, which were laundered into the businesses to perpetuate the daily operations of the criminal enterprise. The AG’s Office found thousands of dollars in cash at the businesses and at Yang’s residence.
AG Healey’s Victim Services Division is working with victim service organizations to ensure victims have the assistance and services they need.
These charges are allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
AG Healey has a dedicated Human Trafficking Division that focuses on policy, prevention and prosecution and includes a team of specialized prosecutors, victim advocates and Massachusetts State Police troopers who handle high impact, multi-jurisdictional human trafficking investigations and prosecutions across the state. Through the Human Trafficking Division, the AG’s Office has charged more than 35 individuals in connection with human trafficking since the law was passed.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Regional Chief Amy Karangekis and Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Vasiliades, both of the AG’s Western Massachusetts Office, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab, Senior Financial Investigator Eugene Griffin, Financial Investigator Katherine Metoyer, Director of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division Sallyann Nelligan, and Victim Witness Advocates Rebecca Auld and Nikki Antonucci.
The Massachusetts State Police, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. State Department, Springfield Police Department, Springfield PD C3 Policing and Metro Units, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, West Springfield Police Department, Lexington Police Department, and the Massachusetts Department of Correction also assisted in this case.