Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announced Friday that Chen Li, 51, was sentenced in the Division One courtroom of the Honorable Robert W. Fairchild following his October 13 plea to the charges of attempted human trafficking and promoting the sale of sexual relations.
The Court sentenced Mr. Li to 41 months in the Department of Corrections for count one and 6 months in the Department of Corrections for count two, which will run concurrently to count one. It is expected that Mr. Li will be deported after serving his sentence.
Investigation into the case began in October 2014 when law enforcement received complaints about suspicious activity at Spring Massage at 600 Lawrence Avenue, Lawrence, Ks. The investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Lawrence Police Department revealed that Spring Massage regularly provided illegal sexual services to their customers. Employees of Spring Massage were interviewed and it was discovered that the workers did not speak English, were entirely reliant on the operators of Spring Massage, and were pressured against their will to provide illegal sexual services to customers.
Mr. Li provided financial support to the business by paying rent and he transported workers from the airport and train station to Spring Massage. Mr. Li was previously convicted of promoting prostitution in Bonner Springs, KS in 2013.
Branson commended the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, the Lawrence Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security and Assistant District Attorney Mark Simpson and Senior Assistant District Attorney C.J. Rieg for their work on the case.