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The couple accused of running a sex trafficking operation out of their three Twin Ports massage parlors will not face a prison sentence after admitting to their crimes Tuesday as part of a plea agreement. Shuangyan Yang, 49, pleaded guilty in State District Court in Duluth to one felony count of racketeering, while her husband, Matthew Shykes, 59, pleaded guilty to one felony count of failing to pay taxes. Yang and Shykes each faced an additional felony count of engaging in the sex trafficking of an individual. Under the terms of the plea agreement, those counts were dismissed.
A search warrant filed this week gives new details on the three year investigation of a Detroit Lakes massage parlor. Sunny Asian Health Massage owner, year-old Jinlan Li, of rural Hawley, is charged with two felony counts of solicitation of prostitution, and one felony count of disorderly house. Documents say the investigation kicked off in after a concerned citizen told Detroit Lakes Police they only observed middle aged male customers at the massage parlor, and female employees who could not speak any English.
The citizen believed the business to be a front for prostitution. Investigators soon found advertisements on websites that are frequently used for prostitution and sex trafficking such as rubmaps.
The ad was posted among others for prostitutes in the area. Documents say when investigators spoke with surrounding business owners, each stated they had noticed unusual activity at Sunny Asian Health Massage.
One owner said he saw male customers walking in with flowers and said employees rotated out every couple months. Another owner told investigators he observed massage customers park in the vacant K-Mart lot and walk to the business even when there were empty spaces in front of the parlor.
When investigators conducted a traffic stop on a man who had just left the massage parlor, documents say he told officers he only had a massage. He told the officer he parked in the K-mart lot because he didn't want his wife to see his car at Sunny Asian Health Massage. The man denied anything illegal taking place at the business.
Asian massage parlor prostitution charges dismissed! ()
Investigators later received a complaint from the Minnesota Department of Health which stated a man had gone to the business roughly 15 times. Each time the man said he had received a sex act from the masseuse who spoke little to no English.
A complaint then came from the Minnesota Department of Corrections where a male stated he had gone to the parlor several times and received a sex act each time. Documents say on Sept. Once started, Li and the another female masseuse then asked the agent to turn over and lay on his back. The second female rubbed the agent's leg and soon began touching his genitals. When asked if he wanted his genitals massaged, the agent declined. Li was in the room at the time of the offer, and documents say Li bent over several times and allowed her breasts to press against the agent's face.
No prison time for massage parlor owners accused of sex trafficking
On the same day and around the same time, another undercover agent purchased a massage and was offered sexual favors by another female employee of Li. Surveillance of Li later showed she was wiring money at local stores. Three search warrants were executed last week. One at the massage parlor, Li's home in Hawley, Minn.
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Dismiss Weather Alerts Alerts Bar. New search warrant details three year investigation of Detroit Lakes massage parlor. Published: Feb. Share on Facebook. This Link. Share on Twitter. Share on Pinterest. Share on LinkedIn.
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