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Plea deal brings closure in prostitution cases at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter

Lei Wang, 41, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count
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Orchids of Asia Day Spa
Posted at 10:24 AM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 18:44:44-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Prosecutors have closed the final case against four women charged in connection to an alleged prostitution ring out of a now-shuttered massage parlor in Jupiter after the last defendant accepted a plea deal Wednesday morning.

Lei Wang, 41, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of soliciting another to commit prostitution. Wang was the former manager of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter. She faced multiple charges for allegedly being involved in a prostitution operation run out of the massage parlor.

The other three defendants, Shen Mingbi, 60, Hua Zhang, 59, and Lei Chen, 45, had previously accepted plea deals.

"I believe that resolves all of the cases in this situation," remarked Judge Joseph Marx of the 15th Judicial Circuit during Wang's hearing Wednesday morning.

Wang was sentenced to one-year probation, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. Judge Marx ordered she report to probation by Friday afternoon. Prosecutors dropped the remaining charges against Wang, including a felony charge of deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution.

The plea agreement brings closure to a case that drew national attention when it broke in Feb. 2019. Law enforcement said more than 20 men, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, paid for sex acts while visiting the day spa.

Kraft denied those accusations and pleaded not guilty.

In September, an appeals court ruled that secretly recorded surveillance video from inside the massage parlor could not be used as evidence at trial.

RELATED: Search warrants reveal how detectives planted hidden cameras | How Jupiter detectives gathered evidence in prostitution sting

The State Attorney's Office dropped charges against the men accused of visiting the massage parlor, including Kraft. But prosecutors continued to pursue cases against the four women charged in connection to the spa's operations.

The investigation spanned beyond Jupiter, sprawling up the Treasure Coast into both Martin and Indian River counties.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation, resulting in hundreds of men facing accusations of paying for sex acts at the various spas and over a dozen women across the three counties facing charges for their alleged roles in the prostitution operations.

Most of the men accused of paying for sex acts had their charges dropped after the appellate court tossed the video evidence, barring it from being shown at trial.

But prosecutors have successfully secured plea deals against the women connected to the massage parlors in both Martin and Indian River counties, in addition to Wednesday's plea deal in Palm Beach County.

Two defendants in Indian River County are still fighting the charges, Lanyun Ma, 50, and Liyan Zhang, 42.

Ma faces four charges, including two felonies for driving support from proceeds of prostitution and a RICO charge.

Zhang faces over thirty charges, including one felony RICO charge, one misdemeanor count for operating a house of prostitution, and 30 misdemeanor counts of engaging in prostitution. Both have pleaded not guilty in their cases.

A third defendant in Indian River County, Lanfen Ma, was charged but never arrested and has yet to appear in court. Her whereabouts are unknown.

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