Accused Murrysville massage parlor operator to stand trial on human trafficking, prostitution charges | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Accused Murrysville massage parlor operator to stand trial on human trafficking, prostitution charges

Paul Peirce
1109665_web1_JudysMassage-050419
Google
A Flushing, N.Y., woman accused of owning and operating the now defunct Judy’s Oriental Massage Parlor in Murrysville waived her right to a preliminary hearing Friday on charges the business was actually part of a human trafficking operation where prostitution was occurring.

A Flushing, N.Y., woman accused of owning and operating the now defunct Judy’s Oriental Massage Parlor in Murrysville waived her right to a preliminary hearing Friday on charges the business was actually part of a human trafficking operation where prostitution was occurring.

Huican Wei, 47, will now proceed to trial in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court on multiple charges including operating a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, dealing in illegal proceeds, intent to promote prostitution, operating a house of prostitution and trafficking individuals for financial benefit.

At the district judge’s office in Norvelt, Senior District Judge Eileen Conroy of Allegheny County remanded Wei to the Westmoreland County Prison where she has been held since March 22 after failing to post $75,000 bail after her arrest by state police and the attorney general’s office.

Wei and her private attorney, Jesse Chen of Pittsburgh, have declined comment.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Katherine A. Wymard said that Wei used to be a worker in Xu’s parlors. Wymard also said the authorities are still looking to arrest a fifth person, a woman, who also resides in Flushing, who allegedly was involved in the operation of the parlors.

A statewide grand jury in March alleged that young Asian women worked at Wei’s parlor and four others in Monroeville and Murrysville operated by Hui Wu, 44, of Mt. Pleasant. After a year-long investigation the grand jury alleged that the parlors were part of a human trafficking ring where workers were forced to perform sex acts.

Xu is the widow of Henry “Sonny” Caruso, 49, a veteran guard at the Westmoreland County Prison who committed suicide in November after being suspended from his job as a result of the ongoing investigation.

Xu also briefly appeared before Conroy, who continued her scheduled preliminary hearing on an unrelated charge of intimidating a witness in the case.

Xu was released from the Washington County Jail on April 22 to be on home electronic monitoring, but Murrysville police accused her of making several social media posts from her Shady Street home after her release. She was ordered back to the Washington County Jail by acting District Judge Charles Christner.

Officer Matthew Panigal, who assisted state police and the attorney general’s office in the investigation, said Xu directed complaints toward a co-defendant Robert Delano Yerick, 83, of Delmont, who was described as an administrator and handyman at Xu’s businesses.

Police allege Xu posted that Yerick was going to testify against her and referred to him as a “liar” and a “beast.”

“Yerick … lied to the attorney general,” Panigal quoted Xu as writing in the posts.

A fourth defendant, Chang Yu Chen, 51, of Monroeville, who also was described as a handyman and manager at the parlors, was freed from the county prison after posting $75,000 bail from a bail bondsman. Yerick is free on $30,000 bail.

After the arrests, Murrysville officials last month moved to keep the massage parlors from potentially reopening by suspending their occupancy permits alleging they were conducting illegal operations.

Xu’s hearing on the new complaint will be May 24.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.