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Brothel network with wealthy clients busted in Massachusetts and Virginia, 3 arrested

Sex ring uncovered at brothels in Greater Boston
Sex ring uncovered at brothels in Greater Boston 02:56

BOSTON - Three people were arrested Wednesday for allegedly operating a high-end brothel network out of apartment complexes in Cambridge, Dedham, and Watertown, Massachusetts as well as Virginia.

"This commercial sex ring was built on secrecy and exclusivity, catering to wealthy and well-connected clientele," acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Joshua Levy said in a news conference in Boston.

Brothel clientele

"They are doctors, they are lawyers, they're accountants, they are executives at high-tech companies, pharmaceutical companies, they're military officers, government contractors, professors, scientists," Levy said of the brothels' customers. "Pick a profession, they're probably represented in this case."

Who was arrested

The three arrested - 30-year-old Junmyung Lee of Dedham, 41-year-old Han Lee of Cambridge, and 68-year-old James Lee of Torrance, California - are charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sex activity.

Han Lee and Junmyung Lee will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Boston. James Lee was arrested in California and will be brought to Boston for his arraignment. Levy said that, starting as far back as July 2020, the three operated multiple brothels in multiple states by enticing primarily Asian women to travel to Massachusetts and Virginia to be prostitutes.

How and where the sex ring operated

They allegedly operated through two websites, reporting to advertise nude Asian models for professional photography at upscale studios as a front for prostitution.

Brothels Cambridge
Alleged locations of brothels in Cambridge, Dedham and Watertown CBS Boston

The three rented high-end apartments in Cambridge, Dedham, Watertown, and eastern Virginia and used them as brothels, prosecutors said. The rent for some apartments was as high as $3,664 a month. 

Appointments cost $350 to $600 an hour and were paid in cash, according to Levy. Investigators said clients had to fill out a form with their name, work information, email address, phone number, and a reference before they could book appointments. Customers were then given a "menu" of options at the brothel.

"Business is booming, until today," he told reporters, adding that the investigation is far from over.

If convicted, each of the three could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact

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