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Defendant in prostitution case at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter changes plea, faces deportation

Lei Chen
Posted at 3:08 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 18:48:21-05

JUPITER, Fla. — A key defendant accused of working in an alleged prostitution ring at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter changed her plea on Monday and agreed to be deported.

Lei Chen, 44, pleaded guilty to eight misdemeanor counts of offering to commit prostitution. Chen did not appear at a brief court hearing on Monday afternoon. She is in custody with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A judge sentenced Chen to 60 days in jail with credit for time served.

Chen's attorney said she accepted the plea deal because she felt it was in her best interest to return home.

Chen was charged last April with multiple counts of misdemeanor prostitution, as well as one felony count of deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution. Prosecutors nolle prossed the felony against Chen.

The Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter is the same day spa that police allege

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft visited twice a year ago.

Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution and denies the allegations.

Three other women, Lei Wang, 40, Shen Mingbi, 59, and Hua Zhang, 59, were all charged with various felonies for participating in the alleged prostitution ring at the day spa. The three have all pleaded not guilty.

Chen is the first defendant to change her plea.

The cases against Mingbi, Wang, and Zhang are currently ongoing.

Prosecutors are currently appealing a ruling handed down last May, which threw out secretly recorded video from inside the massage parlor, barring the evidence from being used at trial.

The 4th District Court of Appeals will hear the case in the coming weeks.