One of two suspects in a sex trafficking scheme that lured women from China on false promises of jobs and then forced them into prostitution once they got here pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court.
Wei Lin appeared with counsel, Michael Dotts, at a change of plea hearing in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.
Lin pleaded guilty to the indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and to benefit financially from a sex trafficking venture.
He will be sentenced on Sept. 14, 2012.
Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona immediately remanded Lin to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.
Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe prosecuted the case.
A superseding indictment had charged Lin and co-defendant Yanchun Li with a count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and to benefit financially from a sex trafficking venture; three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; and one count of financially benefiting from a sex trafficking venture.
According to the indictment, Rosen Music Studio was a karaoke bar in Chalan Laulau that also provided sexual services for an added fee. Most, if not all, of the commercial sexual acts were performed outside the karaoke bar.
In exchange for a portion of the proceeds, Lin provided Rosen Music Studio with women to perform the sexual services.
Sex acts performed by these women generally took place in an apartment procured by Lin.
Lin paid co-defendant Li to, among other things, transport the women back and forth from the Rosen Music Studio to the Hong Apartment, and in some cases, to and from hotels.
Three Chinese women traveled to the CNMI in August and September 2010 based upon Lin's promises, and other working on his behalf, of jobs at a new hotel that Lin was purportedly opening on Saipan.
The suspects promised the three women work as waitresses or housekeepers, that their salary would be over $1,000 per month, and that they would receive work visas after their arrival.
The suspects arranged and coordinated the three women's travel from China to the CNMI.
The suspects collected from each of the three women over $4,000, took their passports, and told them they would likely be killed by criminals if they go outside.