KCUR News
7:08 am
Thu October 15, 2009

Prostitution Ring Leader Sentenced

Kansas City, MO – A woman avoids what could have been a forty year prison term for her guilty plea to operating a lucrative massage parlor prostitution ring in Johnson County Kansas. The sentencing judge disagreed with the prosecution's characterization of the crime.

Ling Xu will serve an 8 year and two month prison term, less when time served is taken into account. Judge Fernando Gaitan said from the bench, he thought women who worked as prostitutes for Xu were more participants than victims. Afterwards, prosecutor Cynthia Cordes says the women really were coerced into the work.

Cordes: "The women were not told up front what the arrangement would be. When they responded to the advertisements to be masseuses,only one of the females was told sexual acts might be optional. All the rest of them found out what the deal was after they arrived in the Overland Park, Kansas City area."

XU had claimed religious persecution in her native China and had been granted asylum in the U.S. She stands to be deported after serving her sentence, not to China, rather to a country willing to take her.