Sex Work

Florida Masseuse Ordered to Pay $31,573 After 'Soliciting' Robert Kraft To 'Commit Prostitution'

Charges against Kraft were (rightfully) dismissed. The women he patronized now have criminal records.

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Three women arrested last year as part of a high-profile "human trafficking" sting in Florida were sentenced recently as part of plea agreements with Palm Beach County prosecutors. While avoiding further jail time, the women must still pay the state some hefty fees for allegedly facilitating the sexual gratification of massage customers, including New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft.

Meanwhile, all charges against Kraft were dropped in September. After courts ruled the state's massage-room surveillance footage inadmissible, prosecutors dismissed cases against Kraft and other men charged last year with soliciting prostitution at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.

The investigation—aided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—was a mess from the start, with authorities in Palm Beach and nearby counties coordinating to target Chinese immigrant-owned spa businesses for prostitution stings and then announcing the results together as a major "human trafficking" bust. Local sheriffs made national news with their narrative of young Asian sex slaves and a vast network of knowing men who patronized them, and the story served as fodder for all sorts of melodramatic media exposes on "sex trafficking" at "illicit massage parlors" and "massage parlor brothels."

But the truth was much more mundane: some middle-aged, licensed masseuses, working legally in the U.S., sometimes engaged in consensual sex acts with massage customers for an added fee.

No one should have faced criminal charges for that. Yet, in Palm Beach County Kraft and at least 13 other men were charged with "soliciting another to commit prostitution" (a misdemeanor) after allegedly paying Orchids of Asia staff for sex acts.

No one was ever charged with human trafficking. In fact, the women providing massages and sex acts—the group that authorities said they were in it to rescue—were the ones who faced the most severe charges.

Masseuse Shen Mingbi—one of two women at Orchids of Asia that Kraft was accused of patronizing—was charged with one count of deriving support from prostitution (a felony) and 10 counts of soliciting another for prostitution.

On November 30, she pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, and authorities finally agreed to return her passport and phone and unfreeze her bank account. Mingbi was sentenced to one year on probation, conditions of which included 100 hours of community service (which she could pay $1,000 in lieu of serving since we're in a pandemic) and submitting to the state results of HIV and STD tests.

Mingbi was also required to forfeit $20,000 to the Jupiter Police Department, in addition to the $5,000 cash bond she posted and the other $6,573 in fines and fees she was ordered to pay.

Hua Zhang was the owner of Orchids of Asia as well as a masseuse there, and the other woman Kraft allegedly patronized. She and spa manager Lei Wang were each charged with more than 20 counts of misdemeanor soliciting another to commit prostitution, plus three felonies (deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, maintaining a house of prostitution, and renting space for prostitution) apiece as well.

Today, Wang pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution and was sentenced to one year probation. Zhang pleaded guilty on November 12 to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, plus one count of renting space for prostitution; her probation sentence is one year and six months. Each was also required to submit STD and HIV test results and do 100 hours of community service or pay a fee instead.

Zhang ultimately had to pay $6,661 in fines and fees (including the $1,000 fee to opt out of community service). Wang must pay $5,623, plus an additional $1,000 if she wants to avoid pandemic-times community service.

Palm Beach may now be wrapping up its part in this shameful saga. But the actions of the authorities who worked this case shouldn't be forgotten. Ultimately, they illegally spied on citizens, spent years of police time and public resources, possibly ruined multiple lives, and went on a hero's publicity campaign while saving no one and stealing about $45,000 from a few immigrant sex workers.

NEXT: Cops Raid New York Bar and Arrest Owner for Defying COVID-19 Restrictions

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  1. Small price to pay to be freed from indentured sexual servitude. I hope the judge also made those ladies write thank you notes to the authorities for saving them.

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    2. You mean the perverts who recorded them? Yes way to save them by putting them into debt just so the cops could get pornographic videos. Shame that cops are such sexual deviants.

    3. I hope this is irony.

      1. Not just irony… also washy, tumbly, and foldy.

        That dad joke’s for free.

    4. If people don't want to live in a society of moral decadence and the suffering associated with it, both parties involved should be punished for prostitution.

      1. Since I do want to live in a society of moral decadence, people calling for punishment being inflicted on innocent people should be punished for oppression, invasion of privacy, and assault.

  2. target Chinese immigrant-owned spa businesses for prostitution stings and then announcing the results together as a major “human trafficking” bust.

    Technically, what was actually trafficked was only half of a human. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, if you know what I mean.

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    2. You mean the perverts who recorded them? Yes way to save them by putting them into debt just so the cops could get pornographic videos. Shame that cops are such sexual deviants.

  3. Government Almighty getting OUT of the sex-nanny business…

    Now THAT would be a REAL “Happy Ending”!

    1. AMEN

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    1. Easily enough to pay off the fines and then some.

  5. Kraft and any of the other men involved with enough pocket change should pay the women’s fines.

    1. Should have mounted their defense and got them off.

      1. EXCELLENT!

      2. [golf clap]

    2. My first thought as well…except my angle would be a vigorous defense.

  6. Back to what libertarians know best hookers and drugs.

    1. We’re just not faggots who want to tell others what to do, apparently that ruffles your feathers.

    2. Agreed. The modern day libertarian has a problem recognizing that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Thus their ongoing morality recognition problem regarding drugs and the sex vocations.

      1. The modern-day opponent to libertarians has a problem recognizing that just because you shouldn’t do something, doesn’t mean other people get to persecute you.

  7. But surely they were all actually Communist Chinese spies?

  8. Mingbi was also required to forfeit $20,000 to the Jupiter Police Department, in addition to the $5,000 cash bond she posted and the other $6,573 in fines and fees she was ordered to pay.

    It could have been worse, she could have been fined $31,573 instead of merely having to forfeit the money and pay some fees. But just out of curiosity, what the fucking fuck is the “no, no, this isn’t a fine, it’s a fee” bullshit all about? And what’s the difference between “forfeiting” a cash bond and straight up theft?

    1. Sorta like the movie Brazil. Where you had to pay for your own interrogation – the recommendation was you give in quickly before your credit is ruined.

    2. There are no fees. There are only penalties for a crime and taxes. All fees down to driver’s licenses and park access are taxes.

  9. Kraft should quietly pay the fines

    1. Fuck paying fines…Kraft should hire her some wrecking crew lawyers and hammer the DA and PD. Assholes

  10. Well, this is a serious subject worthy of serious consid-, wait…

    “spa manager Lei Wang”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDqsgbtpDLk

    1. I’ve always thought the name of the princess from Star Wars sounded similar. You know, Leia Organa…

    2. I know a Wei Long Wang. His co-workers try to get him paged over loud speakers wherever they go.

  11. What is it called when you hold an immigrant’s passport until she turns over the profits from her prostitution?

    Isn’t that the definition of sex trafficking?

    1. It’s not illegal when the cops do it.

      1. And qualified immunity would apply if it was illegal.

    2. Great point! Palm Beach police are officially pimps.

    3. No, it’s good when the cops do it!! Don’t you know Smith, W. that Oceania has always been at war with EastAsia?

  12. All this over a goddamn hand job? I’m glad our Great Leaders have their priorities in order.

  13. It’s a FELONY to make money jacking people off? Why is that a felony? Seriously, every dumb ass thing is a felony these days.

    Stop respecting the courts, the law is a joke. Sheesh, a *felony*.

    1. If that’s the case then my teenage years were nothing but felonies!

    2. Oh get off it. It’s not like someone made a federal case over prostitutes.

      Oh, wait. Carry on.

  14. I hope Kraft has the decency to cover the fine and legal fees to (I hope) erase anything from her record.

  15. a billionaire jew goes to a spa to get a sex service. gets caught. the jew skates free while the chinese girls pay big fines. suck is the JEWdicial system

    1. Florida, particularly Palm Beach, is deep Kritarchy territory.

  16. ENB forgot to mention that legalizing prostitution is the simple (and long overdue) solution to these centuries old totalitarian laws to impose Christian Puritanism on everyone.

    Had ENB and Reason focused on that and/or other libertarian concerns during the past four years (instead of trashing Trump daily), some prostitution statutes may have been repealed (or the sentences/fines reduced).

    1. Bashing Trump? I never saw an inaccurate article about Trump posted here, care to cite one?

      1. Yes, Trump literally told people to drink bleach. Can’t remember the idiot that wrote it.

        Not the only example, just the most glaring and mendacious of lies.

    2. Don’t need to legalize it, just decriminalize it. If it’s all legalized like then you’ll have another layer of bureaucracy. You thought getting a hair braiding license was difficult, wait to see how many hours of blow job training the state officers will require sex workers to perform. Never mind the fees they’ll charge and anti-discrimination statutes they’ll put in place complete with law enforcement and senior citizen discounts.

    3. You must be new to reading ENB. Here’s an article of hers from 2014 https://time.com/3005687/what-the-swedish-model-gets-wrong-about-prostitution/

      She has many more articles on the topic, feel free to search for them. And if you think Reason had any chance at making a dent in the criminality of this you are fucking delusional. Evangelicals have all but abandoned Jesus for the opportunity to place Trump’s dick in their mouth, but they’ll still argue against prostitution until the day they die (or get caught with a hooker). And Democrats rarely associate themselves with Libertarians or their arguments. Remember when Barack Obama gave praise to the Koch’s for their efforts to reform the criminal justice system? Democrats don’t. Or when Charles Koch agreed with Bernie Sanders about corporate welfare and mass incarceration? Democrats don’t.

      But the reality is that Trump has nearly deserved all of the criticism against him, and so complaining about Reason’s coverage of Trump (significantly less than other outlets) combined with your ignorance simply makes you look like a uninformed whiner.

  17. This is one area where reason still holds the line.

  18. Now they have to bone twice as much to make up the difference.

  19. This is where the Justice system is broken. The other half the transaction get’s no time no payment no nothing. The sex worker has to pay a huge fine and possibly jailtime? It’s either both go free or neither go free. Sick of the pay to play justice we have this country.

    1. The sex worker has to pay a huge fine and possibly jailtime?

      The sex trafficking victim being rescued, you mean.

  20. I must confess that this is the sort of police work that makes me side with those who want to defund police departments.

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  22. The cops of Palm Beach count should be referred to as perverts from now on. The only reasonable explanation is that these cops wanted to secretly record naked women so they could masturbate later.

  23. Criminal charges raise too many questions:

    If it comes so naturally, then why do the charges start out at misdemeanor and go on up to felony?

    What makes prostitution with a paid expert bad and sex in general great?

    What are “massages,” and where must they occur?

    Can you get COVID-19 from a peninsula-based massage parlor raid?

    How can you have safe sex if you can’t pay anyone professionally qualified for the lesson? It’s not much different than a lapdance in the scheme of protective accessory. And why doesn’t rubber leak like spandex?

    Why does it have to be good business when they say nothing and illegal when someone complains? Where’s the liberty in that??

    1. What makes prostitution with a paid expert bad and sex in general great?

      It has to do with morals. What is moral, is to not produce a bunch of kids and not take care of them. It is moral to take a wife, or a family unit, and care for them. So sex with your wife is great. Random sex with "paid experts" harms the social fabric, trust, and emotional balance of your life at home with your wife and kids and also carries of risk of introducing sexually transmitted diseases to you and your spouse at home. Hope that cleared it up for you.

      What are “massages,” and where must they occur?

      Massages technically "could" occur anywhere, as they are the kneading of muscles to reduce pain and muscular tension. Since there are zero muscles in a penis, if a massage results in ejaculation, you are doing it wrong.

      How can you have safe sex if you can’t pay anyone professionally qualified for the lesson?

      You don't need a professionally qualified prostitute or to "pay anyone" in order to have safe sex. So your premise is flawed.

      Why does it have to be good business when they say nothing and illegal when someone complains? Where’s the liberty in that??

      Just because you have the liberty to do something, doesn't mean you should. You also have the individual responsibility to do the right thing. Each individual has an effect, with their actions, on the smallest scale to the largest, across time, from the now to all that is left forward. So whether you know it or not, you carry the world on your back. And so, just because you can take the liberty of doing something, doesn't mean you should.

      1. These answers show some bias, I must admit. But thank you for your answer; there’s no point to arguing over matters of sexual preference unless you must stake the party being solicited for them.

        Many people, if they see a problem in each of these cases, they would either work out a satisfactory solution or try another approach.

        Clearly there is no license involved in sexuality, and the state (excepting, Nevada I think) will unconditionally refuse to license anyone attempting sexual conduct in any reasonably detectable way, as our writer has described, other than on traditional serial monogamy basis that clearly requires licensed approval in form of “marriage license.”

      2. What makes prostitution with a paid expert bad and sex in general great?

        It has to do with morals. What is moral, is to not produce a bunch of kids and not take care of them. It is moral to take a wife, or a family unit, and care for them. So sex with your wife is great. Random sex with “paid experts” harms the social fabric, trust, and emotional balance of your life at home with your wife and kids and also carries of risk of introducing sexually transmitted diseases to you and your spouse at home. Hope that cleared it up for you.

        The OP never asked what is the difference between paying for sex and free sex when one is married; hence, your answer is a straw man. Sex with a professional or amateur both ruin the fabric of the your relationship with your wife, unless you both are into that sort of thing. You answered why extramarital sex is bad. Hope I cleared up his point for you.

  24. She will move to California or Nevada and never pay the fine.

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