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March 14, 2019
by Ruth Gordon, MA, MSW, LCSW

Turning a Blind Eye

March 14, 2019 21:38 by Ruth Gordon, MA, MSW, LCSW  [About the Author]

Robert Kraft bought himself a “happy ending”at the Orchids of Asia Spa on the morning of the 2019 Super Bowl.  The woman who gratified his need was one of a number of individuals who had been lured to said spa by the unscrupulous owners. The Patriots won, Bob Kraft appeared to be very happy, that should have been the end of the story.  For Mr. Kraft it was a very good day.  A new story was, however, unfolding.

On January 22, law enforcement in Palm Beach announced that Mr. Kraft was facing two misdemeanor charges for soliciting for prostitution.  Mr. Kraft, along with other wealthy and powerful men were caught in a sting to expose sex trafficking in the state of Florida.         

It is likely that Mr. Kraft and his comrades had not thought about sexual exploitation.  From their privileged perch, it is easy to imagine that these were, for them, simple business transactions — payment for services rendered.  It has been suggested that the fact that the women who took care of them were sex slaves was not at the front of their minds. It is likely, nonetheless, that these men were well-educated in the fact that this type of “business “ is illegal.

The money they spend funds demoralizing and abominable practices that take advantage of poverty and desperation.  The world of the sex slave is far away from Mr. Kraft’s abode at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.  It is likely that the customers, from their lifestyle of luxury ,do not concern themselves with the circumstances of the women who service them.

Sexcapades have been going on for as far back as anyone can trace.  The fact is that wealthy, powerful men do not, as a rule, think about is who benefits from the “massage” parlors and other set ups where a woman can be bought for a passing pleasure.

Orchids of Asia, in Jupiter Florida, was founded by Cindy Yang. Ms Yang sold the Orchids of Asia spa six years ago to Hua Zang. It is said that Ms. Yang retained ownership of similar facilities throughout the United States.

Today Ms. Yang runs a business out of Mar a Lago.  Her mission is to connect prominent Chinese businessmen with individuals in the United States who are eager to do business.  Ms. Yang’s most impressive affiliation is with President Trump.  Photos of President Trump & Ms. Yang enjoying the 2019 Super Bowl together confirm that they operate in close proximity to one another.

Under the supervision of the new owner, Ms. Zang, Orchids of Asia has continued to supply “happy endings”. This location in Jupiter, Florida is where Mr. Kraft was, reportedly, filmed contributing to unlawful human trafficking.  Perhaps the spa’s regular customers are unaware of the circumstances under which their “providers” arrived in the United States.

What is known, and, documented, is that the women at Orchids of Asia, and similar enterprises, were recruited from China.  They were promised jobs as maids and restaurant workers. All of them arrive expecting to establish a better life than they had in their country of origin.  Many are looking to help their families survive.

Once they arrive they are charged for everything they use and need, including toilet paper.  They are compelled to work as sex slaves in order to pay off their supposed debt. It has been reported that these women are required to “service” 1,500 men per year.  This amounts to more than 4 men per day.  There are no days off or holidays.

The women are not allowed to leave the massage parlor.  They spend all of their time, including sleep time, behind spa doors.  Inspections of these facilities by the health department have found conditions that are described as deplorable.

Why don’t they leave.? Their passports have been surrendered to their employers.  They do not speak English.  Their “owners” threaten them and their families in China with violence.

Why would well-heeled men even subject themselves to what has been described as a sleazy, repulsive environment?  The answer seems to be because they can.  Sex on demand, without emotional ties or the prospect of children is a +billion dollar business worldwide. Sex without responsibility seems to appeal to these powerful individuals.  Mr. Kraft, who is, reportedly, worth 6.6 billion dollars, and his ilk are accustomed to the privileges that accompany that kind of wealth

The fees at The Orchids of Asia Spa are quite reasonable. The charge of $79 an hour and $59 for 1/2 hour is clearly affordable.  Of course, for the women, those amounts seem huge.

One problem is that the owners of these businesses take a large cut of the money brought in.  The girls involved receive a small amount of cash which is eaten up by the debt they have compiled vis a vis their employers.  The workers are, literally, slaves.

Robert Kraft presents himself a a solid member of his community. He is lionized as such. The seeming duplicity in his behavior remains unexplained. In 2015 Kraft donated $100,000 to a charity, My Life My Choice, a Boston-based group that is committed to promoting the rights and protecting the victims of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation,. There is a video touting Kraft’s humanitarian ideals as he received the Stuart Scott Enspire Award which can be played on deadspin.com.

Many leading theories equate sexual domination with the need to feel powerful.  The victim is always someone who can easily be bullied into submission.  Common sense might dictate that overcoming an opponent on level ground is a more reasonable test of power.  That does not seem to be relevant in this situation.  In the world of human trafficking and sexual exploitation it appears that it is legitimate to kill a mosquito with an elephant gun.

It is likely that Mr. Kraft will receive a slap on the wrist and go on his merry way.  What is not known is the fate of the women who have been employed by Orchids of Asia, which has been shut down.

Sources in law enforcement have begun to realize that the workers are victims.  It is not known what will become of these non-English speaking, untrained refugees.  There is little in place to hope for a safe and satisfactory resolution. For sex workers there is no happy ending. 

 

 

 

 


“Cindy Yang: 5 Facts You Need to  Know”(03/08/2019) heavy.com

 

“Jupiter Spa Owner In Prostitution, Human-Trafficking Bust” palmbeachpost.com

 

“Police Describe Deplorable Conditions at Spa in Robert Kraft Sex Sting” cbsnews.com

 

Sherry, A (02/24/19) “Robert Kraft is Just One of Many Rich and Powerful Men Busted in Florida Prostitution Ring” thedailybeast.com

 

Thomas, L (02/22/19) “The Real Ugliness of the Robert Kraft Story” new yorker.com

 

Trock, G (02/26/19) “Robert Kraft’s Prostitution Case:See theSad Photos That Prove Alleged Sex Workers Lived in Massage Parlor” theblast.com

About the Author

Ruth Gordon Ruth Gordon, MA/MSW/LCSW

I bring with me +30 years of experience as a clinician. My Masters degrees are from: Assumption College, Worcester, MA, Master of Arts in Psychology & Counseling/ and Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA, an MSW in Clinical Social Work. This is the 11th year I have written a monthly newsletter that is sent to approximately 500 individuals. The archive can be found on my website, www.foreverfabulousyou.com.

Office Location:
The OC Building, 11983 Tamiami Trail, N., Naples, FL 34110
Naples, Florida
34110
United States
Phone: 239 293-4314
Contact Ruth Gordon

Ruth Gordon has a clinical practice in Naples, FL

Professional Website: www.foreverfabulousyou.com
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