Murrysville massage parlor owner ordered back to jail
A Mt. Pleasant woman accused of being part of a human trafficking and prostitution ring through four massage parlors she ran in Monroeville and Murrysville is back in jail on allegations she threatened a co-defendant.
Hui Xu, 44, who state police allege owned and operated four Tokyo Massage parlors where prostitution was occurring, was charged by Murrysville police Saturday with intimidation of witnesses in connection with several social media posts she made after her April 22 release from the Washington County Jail.
Xu had been free on $100,000 unsecured bond and on electronic monitoring at her Shady Street home when she posted messages on Facebook about the pending case, Officer Matthew Panigal reported in court documents.
Panigal, who assisted state police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office in the year-long 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.
Panigal alleges Xu posted photographs of Yerick along with her social media posts.
Xu is the widow of Henry “Sonny” Caruso. The 49-year-old veteran guard at the Westmoreland County Prison killed himself in November after being suspended from his job as a result of the investigation into his wife’s businesses.
She has pleaded not guilty and her attorney Charles Porter said she intends to fight the charges at trial.
A few hours prior to her arrest Saturday, Xu continued to profess her innocence on her public Facebook page and also defended her late husband.
“Almost 11 years, we never let employees did illegal things … we cannot lie. Sonny, my husband, really respect all the employees, all the employees respect him … also we did not involved (sic) in illegal things,” she wrote.
She asked people to donate $5,000 to help her with legal fees.
Porter did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Night Court District Judge Charles Christner of Rostraver ordered Xu held in Westmoreland County Prison without bail on the new complaint. She has since been transferred to the Washington County facility.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Friday.
Others accused of participating in the operation include Chang Yu Chen, 51, of Monroeville, who was described as a handyman and manager at the parlors; and Huicun Wei, 47, of Flushing, N.Y., who is also accused of running a massage parlor in Murrysville. Wei has a preliminary hearing scheduled Friday.
A statewide grand jury last month alleged that young Asian women working at five parlors in Monroeville and Murrysville were part of a human trafficking ring forced to perform sex acts.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .