A mother and daughter in Irvine, California, and one other woman have been arrested for trafficking women in a business that moved the trapped sex workers from one state to another.
These two are now in the Orange County jail after investigators in Minnesota and North Dakota traced the operation to California.
The victims were mostly Chinese and Korean nationals who didn’t speak English, according to the complaint and prosecutors. Their passports sometimes were taken away, and they often were moved from one location to another to prevent them from developing ties or reaching out for help.
The horror grows as one reads more details. Thank you to Ruben Vives and Christopher Goffard for reporting this story in the Los Angeles Times.
According to the complaint, Dongzhou “Mark” Jiang [arrested in Minnesota] spoke with authorities and described the victims’ brutal working conditions. Sometimes, he said, the women had to pay off their debts with sex acts.
The complaint said that Jiang told detectives that “getting beat and raped is ‘just part of the business; it is a high-income, high-risk’ enterprise.”