A third suspect has been arrested for allegedly helping coerce two women into performing sex acts on men at two massage parlors in West Hempstead and Franklin Square, Nassau County prosecutors said.
Li Fei Leng, 32, of Queens, was charged with sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, labor trafficking and unauthorized practice.
“Victims of sex trafficking experience the horrors of modern-day slavery and the criminals who profit from oppression must face harsh penalties,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Prosecutors said Leng managed massage parlors owned by Zhaowei Yin, 49, and his 46-year-old wife, Shuwen Ai, both of Flushing, who pleaded not guilty to the same charges last month.
The trio allegedly hired two women responding to ads in Chinese-language newspapers seeking masseuses, but required them to perform sexual services on men at Lucy’s Spa on Hempstead Turnpike and Panda Foot Spa on Franklin Avenue between May 2013 and the end of January 2014.
The suspects allegedly forced the women to sleep at the businesses, which are now closed. They allegedly never paid one victim and authorities said the couple deducted wages from the other for transportation to and from work. If they refused to comply with their demands, they also allegedly threatened to post nude photos of them in the Internet and have them deported.
The case unfolded after both victims were arrested for prostitution. Once it became clear that they were trafficking victims, their charges were dismissed.
The suspects are believed to have owned other massage parlors across Long Island and in Queens, including a spa that is still in business in Nassau County.
Judge Terence Murphy set bail for Leng at $125,000 cash or $250,000 bond. She is due back in court Oct. 22. All three face up to 25 years in prison, if convicted. The investigation is continuing.