San Gabriel Valley woman expected to plead not guilty to federal sex-trafficking charges alleging she forced immigrant women to engage in sex acts at massage parlors


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A San Gabriel Valley woman is expected to plead not guilty today to federal charges alleging she sex-trafficked five immigrant women by hiring them to work at massage parlors and forcing them to engage in commercial sex acts.
  Mei Xing, 59, also known as Xing Mei, Anna and Boss, is charged with five counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion. Xing previously was indicted on June 12 on one count of sex trafficking, and an updated document added four additional victims, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
  If convicted, Xing would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for each count, prosecutors said.
  Federal prosecutors allege that from July 2016 to October 2018, Xing ran a sex trafficking operation that targeted immigrant women. An affidavit previously filed in the case in Los Angeles federal court alleges that Xing owned and operated several massage parlors in the San Gabriel Valley cities of El Monte and South El Monte.
  The victims reported that Xing pressured them into performing commercial sex acts at the massage parlors, court papers state. Xing allegedly coerced victims by all manner of threats, including threatening to report their prostitution to police, threatening to expose their immigration status, and implicitly threatening to have them murdered.
  Xing allegedly told the victims she could make good on her threats because of her relationships with the government, the police, and the criminal underworld, according to court documents.
  She has been in federal custody since her arrest in April.