Archive for Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kansas: Asian massage sex trafficking case in limbo

January 14, 2014

— The trial of a couple accused of sex trafficking at Asian massage parlors in Wichita remains in limbo after a last-minute request for a mental evaluation.

Prospective jurors for Monday’s trial of Gary H. Kidgell, of Waltham, Mass., and his wife, Wichita resident Yan Zhang, were sent home. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren granted an oral motion by Zhang’s attorney for the evaluation.

An indictment alleges sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. One count also charges Kidgell with harboring for financial gain an immigrant who was in the country unlawfully.

The couple is accused of recruiting women from around the country to come to Wichita to work at massage parlors, then coercing them into prostitution. A woman who worked for them has pleaded guilty to a harboring count.

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