SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office on Friday released new details regarding the recent arrest of a tech businessman and his wife charged with running an international network of South Bay brothels.
A press release issued by Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said the couple was involved in the human trafficking of dozens of women from China, South Korea and Eastern Europe.READ MORE: Gas Leak In San Francisco's Inner Richmond Prompts Shelter-In-Place, Evacuations
The couple, 57-year-old David Davies and 38-year-old Larong Hu, both of Milpitas, were arrested Wednesday. According to the DA’s office, they managed at least six brothels at non-descript apartments in San Jose and Milpitas. The couple rotated more than 100 sex workers through their operation before sending the women to other U.S. cities to continue their usually low paid, illegal work.
The couple faces charges of felony human trafficking, pimping and pandering and money laundering. They were scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon at the Hall of Justice in San Jose, but Hu’s arraignment was postponed until next Tuesday after her Mandarin interpreter was unable to make it to court.
Davies is set for further arraignment on June 24th. The couple are being held on $350,000 bail, police said. Both will remain in custody at least until their respective arraignments.
“People do not have the right to treat other people like pack animals,” Rosen said in the release. “This county will spare no effort to track down those who exploit others for profit and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Milpitas Police Department, U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Services and the DA’s Bureau of Investigations discovered the human trafficking sites. There were six total locations with three each in Milpitas and San Jose.READ MORE: UPDATE: Cal ISO Extends Flex Alert Into Friday; Bay Area, NorCal Heat Wave May Break Records
According to the DA, men visited the apartments in 30 minute and one hour increments. Investigators later discovered prophylactics and other sex-work paraphernalia in the rented rooms. When the sex workers were interviewed, they told authorities that they would often service 10-15 men a day. The men found them advertised online and paid Hu through Venmo and PayPal.
The women working the brothels were forbidden to leave for days, with their passports often taken from them to keep them from leaving. They were also forced to pay for their own food and daily necessities. One woman told investigators she was there to earn money to pay for her mother’s cancer treatment.
Police said six women were rescued and nearly $2 million was seized.
The rescued sex workers have been offered a variety of victim services through the human trafficking unit’s Community Solutions in collaboration with the DA’s Victim’s Services Unit.
“The DA’s Office Human Exploitation Unit is focused to continue to occupy a
leadership roll to root out these dens of sex slavery operating in plain sight,” the release concluded.
Anyone who is or knows someone who is the victim of human trafficking should call 911 or contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 888-373-7888 or by texting 233733.