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Leominster massage parlor owner charged with running house of prostitution

I-Team: Leominster business owner charged with running house of prostitution
I-Team: Leominster business owner charged with running house of prostitution 02:27

LEOMINSTER - A Leominster massage parlor owner is now charged with running a house of prostitution. In January, police say they found an unconscious woman at LiLi Body Work. The I-Team has learned the business had been under investigation for years.

The incident unfolded just after 2 p.m. on January 30th. Leominster firefighters responded to the massage parlor and found a woman barely alive. The call prompted a dispatcher to send a police cruiser to guard the place.

Police reports show the investigating detective documented evidence inside the business using his body camera. Writing in his report that it was a possible death investigation. Police say they found several bullet shell casings from a 9mm in the basement of the building.

LiLi Body Work
LiLi Body Work in Leominster CBS Boston

Meantime, first responders took the 57-year-old victim to Leominster Hospital where police say she tested positive for fentanyl.

Michael Krol is the Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England. He was not able to comment on this specific incident but says cases like this have a familiar pattern. "It's sad," Krol said. "It's very hard. The language barrier is a significant issue for us."

Krol told the I-Team many of the women are coming to New England from Queens New York, China, and South Korea, and most are wary of law enforcement. In some cases, Krol says familial connections make it difficult to admit to being trafficked or harmed.

The owner of the massage parlor, Zhan You Sun, is charged with running a house of prostitution and felony deriving support from prostitution. Sun allegedly told police the victim worked for him and that she arrived a few days ago by van from Flushing, New York.

"It's a consistent flow of these girls," Krol said. "They don't keep them in the same places very often. I mean, they have this down to a science."

WBZ reached out to Sun but did not hear back. Police reports show the victim was transferred to a Connecticut hospital. The owner of the massage parlor is due to appear before a judge next week.  

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