Mansfield "wellness club" shut down for prostitution - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Mansfield "wellness club" shut down for prostitution

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By Abbey Niezgoda

aniezgoda@abc6.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/abc6

MANSFIELD, Mass. - Between the old clocks and barber shops on Main Street in Mansfield is a new business that has been raising suspicion.

"I used to see people going in there. A lot of people going in and out," said Mansfield Resident Anthony Soto. He said he always wondered why so many people were coming and going at all hours of the day.

The sign on the door appears to be homemade. It reads, "Wellness Club, body work and foot massage".

However, Mansfield residents started to think a lot more was going on inside. Blinds on the windows prevented residents from seeing inside.

After receiving a number of complaints about excessive noise and customers patronizing the business at all hours of the night, Mansfield police decided to intervene. Police sent an undercover officer to the shop to find out exactly what types of services were being offered.

When the officer asked for a massage, the woman inside offered him services that weren't on the regular menu--sexual acts for an additional cost.

The officer's experience prompted a police raid and culminated in the arrest of masseuse Hai Feng Liu, 44, and the owner, Wei Wu, 46.

Mansfield police detective Michael Ellsworth explained to ABC6 News what kinds of charges the two will be facing. "Sexual conduct, keeping a house of prostitution, and deriving support from prostitution," Ellsworth said.

Prosecutors say the owner was operating the business as a brothel, open around the clock. The two also advertised their erotic services online, according to prosecutors.

Investigators are now trying to determine whether or not those involved are connected to human trafficking.

Meanwhile, the community of Mansfield is still in a state of shock that this was happening, seemingly right under their noses. "The location, right in the center of town - it almost makes it even more unbelievable," said Mansfield resident George Holmes.

The owner and masseuse will likely face jail time for their crimes.

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