Mobile County, Alabama / February 20, 2015
3 women accused of promoting prostitution at Asian spa, Mobile County deputies say
By Theresa Seiger
An investigation spanning multiple weeks led to the arrest of three women accused of performing or encouraging sexual acts at an Asian spa near Interstate 65, a Mobile County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.
In the adult entertainment section of the classified ad website Backpage.com, Unique Spa advertised that it had the best massage in town. Multiple posts from early January to Feb. 17 featured scantily clad Asian women "anxious to give you our best service."
The parking lot of the business was empty Thursday and a listed phone number did not appear to be working.
Mobile County sheriff's deputies opened an investigation into the spa after receiving multiple complaints, said Sgt. Joe Mahoney. On Tuesday they arrested Mong Cha Fought, 67, and Li Sik Park, 51, on multiple charges of second-degree promotion of prostitution after serving a search warrant at Unique Spa, he said.
The next day Ronnie Song, 63, was apprehended on Canal Street near Interstate 10 and charged with two counts of second-degree promotion of prostitution, court records show.
The women stand accused of ending massages with sexual favors in exchange for money, according to MCSO.
"If you look at Backpage, (similar situations) are more common then you might expect," Mahoney said. "Look at prostitution arrests -- they get arrested all the time."
Mobile County Metro Jail records show Fought, Park and Song have no known prior arrests in the county.
Detectives were still investigating to determine whether any human trafficking had taken place. According to jail cards filed in court, all three suspects were born in Korea.
Mahoney said a portion of the investigation was turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for further review.
At least one of the suspects appeared to be in the country illegally. Mobile County Metro Jail records showed Homeland Security placed an immigration hold on Park. She faces four counts of second-degree promotion of prostitution and one count of possession of a controlled substance, identified by Mahoney as Codeine.
The women remained jailed on Thursday afternoon.
Their arrests came about one month after a joint human trafficking investigation by Mobile police and the Department of Homeland Security netted 16 arrests, mostly on prostitution-related charges.
No human trafficking charges were filed in that operation.