Massive crackdown on sex trafficking from Palm Beach to Orlando yields hundreds of arrests

Hundreds of arrest warrants have been issued in recent days as a result of the six-month investigation into sex trafficking in Florida, and more are expected.

Ten spas have been closed, and several people have been taken into custody on sex trafficking charges, including Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots.  Kraft, 77, faces charges of soliciting a prostitute after he was twice videotaped in a sex act at a shopping-center massage parlor.

Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said he was shocked to learn that Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, was paying for sex inside a shopping-center massage parlor, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. "We are as equally stunned as everyone else," Kerr said.

Most people charged for the first time with soliciting a prostitute in Florida are allowed to enter a diversion program, said attorney David Weinstein, a former prosecutor.

Vero Beach police Chief David Currey, whose agency has been involved in the sex-trafficking investigation, told reporters earlier this week that the prostitutes are victims who have been trapped into the trade.

"These girls are there all day long, into the evening. They can't leave and they are performing sex acts," Currey said, according to TCPalm. "Some of them may tell us they're OK, but they're not."

The owner of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, 58-year-old Hua Zhang, was arrested Tuesday on 29 prostitution and related charges. Police in her arrest report said they watched video of her employees performing various sex acts with two dozen customers. Her attorney, Gennaro Cariglio Jr., had no comment.

 

Information taken from the Associated Press.