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Medford woman, Woburn man indicted in massage parlor sex ring

Posted by Jarret Bencks  June 27, 2013 12:16 PM

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A Medford woman and a Woburn man who operated massage parlors in communities north of Boston were indicted Wednesday on human trafficking, prostitution, and money laundering charges, according to the Attorney General's office.

Xiu J. Chen, 32, of Medford, and Ronald Keplin, 57, of Woburn allegedly used spas and body massage businesses in Bedford, Billerica, Medford, Reading, Wilmington, and Woburn as fronts for prostitution and money laundering.

Chen and Keplin employed women they recruited from New York and other places along the eastern seaboard, but they kept most of the profits for themselves and reinvested them in the enterprise, according to a statement from Attorney General Martha Coakley. They advertised on websites known for prostitution ads, the statement said.

The women lived in overcrowded housing, sometimes sleeping in the massage parlors where they worked, the statement said.

Chen and Keplin were initially arrested May 13 on multiple counts of trafficking persons for sexual servitude, conspiracy, and deriving support from prostitution. They also face charges of keeping a house of ill fame and money laundering. A Middlesex County Grand Jury handed down the indictments Wednesday.

The businesses they operated included: Bedford Asian Bodywork, Shrine Spa/Billerica Bodywork/Boston Chinese Club, Mystic Health Center in Medford, Body Wellness Center in Reading, Body Language in Wilmington, and Asian Bodywork in Woburn, according to prosecutors.

The date of arraignment was not immediately available Thursday.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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