WAITE PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — The owner of a Waite Park massage parlor and her alleged boyfriend are facing charges after a worker told police they forced her to perform sex acts on customers. Forty-eight-year-old Sufeng Jiang and 49-year-old Randy Wittner and now face prostitution promotion and sex trafficking charges.
Police said they opened Oriental Massage last year, but neighboring businesses started to complain about the traffic going in and out of the parlor. That’s when the Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force began to monitor who was going in and out of the parlor.
“We made some stops on customers that were leaving. They indicated they had paid for and received some sexual favors as a result of their visit,” said Chief Dave Bentrud with the Waite Park Police.
When investigators went inside, they said a worker saw an opportunity to get out.
“While they were there she approached law enforcement and said ‘please help me.’ She indicated she was being held against her will. She was working long hours,” Bentrud said.
She told investigators she was forced to perform various sex acts on customers. She also said when she wasn’t at the parlor, owners Wittner and Jiang forced her to stay at their mobile home in St. Cloud. When we arrived there, Wittner was just getting home. He had been in jail since Friday.
He refused to go on camera but told us he was being set up.
“It’s a big surprise to me what you told me regarding our neighbors there. I’ve never heard anything like that in St. Cloud before,” neighbor George Gregorich said.
Police said the victim was taken to a women’s shelter. She’s here on a green card from China, and investigators believe she may have gotten caught up in a prostitution ring that extends all the way to Boston.
This is the third massage parlor Waite Park police have busted in the past year. Chief Bentrud is quick to point out that this city is far from alone.
“It’s a St. Cloud problem. It’s a Waite Park problem. It’s occurring across the state. And it’s occurring across the country,” Bentrud said. “It’s a tragic situation for a lot of these women. They’re being exploited. We have to try and do something to deal with interstate activity that’s going on.”
Police are trying to connect the victim with family members that they believe may be living in the United States.
They are also looking for another woman who worked at the parlor, who police believe may now be in Minneapolis.