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Arraignment waived for suspect in South Florida prostitution operation

Posted at 10:00 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 11:37:15-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — An arraignment was waived Thursday morning for a woman arrested in a major human trafficking and prostitution operation across South Florida.

The State Attorney's Office tells WPTV the defense attorney for 58-year-old Hua Zhang waived that arraignment.

Zhang is facing multiple charges of soliciting, enticing, and procuring others to commit prostitution.

Zhang was caught on surveillance video engaging in sexual activity at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, according to a probable cause affidavit,

The affidavit said Zhang was the president of the business and collected money from at least 26 male customers.

Zhang's attorney said there's no proof his client knew there was prostitution activity going on at the spa.

Another woman, Lei Wang, was also charged alongside Zhang. According to Wang's probable cause affidavit, she was the manager of Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

In February, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder announced the results of an eight-month investigation, which uncovered widespread sex trafficking operations at five day spas from Jupiter to Hobe Sound.

Sheriff Snyder said two other women, 49-year-old Ruimei Li and 49-year-old Lixia Zhu, ran those operations.

According to the Sheriff, the spas involved were:

  • Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter
  • Cove Day Spa in Stuart
  • Therapy Spa in Stuart
  • Bridge Day Spa in Hobe Sound
  • Sequoia Apple Day Spa in Hobe Sound

The State Attorney's Office said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was one of the men who solicited sex at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

A CNN source said Kraft will reject a plea deal that would allow him to avoid jail time in exchange for admitting his guilt.

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