Brothel catering to politicians, doctors, lawyers busted in Boston

A “booming” sex ring catering to wealthy doctors, lawyers, politicians, and military officers who paid up to $600 an hour for “high-end” nude hookers was busted in Boston, the fedds announced.

Those “well-connected” anonymous johns were not charged, but Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Joshua Levy said the case is still open.

Three people have been arrested for allegedly running the secretive brothel network that offered up primarily Asian women to hundreds of buyers in Massachusetts and Virginia, federal authorities announced Wednesday morning.

“The three individuals behind these websites facilitated the movement of predominately Asian women across the United States for sex trafficking in a commercial sex ring, exploiting them in the process,” said Levy. “This commercial sex ring was built on secrecy and exclusivity, catering to a wealthy, well-connected clientele, and business was booming. Until today.”

Defendants James Lee, 68, of Torrance, California; Junmyung Lee, 30, of Dedham; and the alleged ringleader Han Lee, 41, of Cambridge — who are not related — are charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity, according to Levy and authorities from Homeland Security Investigations and the Cambridge Police.

Han Lee and Junmyung Lee were arraigned in Boston’s U.S. District Court on Wednesday afternoon, according to Levy. James Lee was arrested in the Central District of California and is expected to be arraigned in Boston at a later date.

The next round of arrests may include any of the many “elected officials, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, attorneys” and others, the DOJ release states took part in purchasing sex through the network.

“Pick a profession, they’re probably represented in this case,” said Levy. “They are the men who fueled this commercial sex ring.”

None of the “potentially hundreds” of buyers were charged or named Wednesday, Levy said, but “I want to emphasize this is an investigation that’s just getting going.”

The operation began in July 2020, authorities said, and meetings were set up primarily on two websites, — which was taken down as of Wednesday afternoon — and — which remained operational.

The defendants allegedly operated the prostitution network in Cambridge and Watertown in Massachusetts and Fairfax and Tysons in Virginia, according to a criminal complaint affidavit from Homeland Security.

The suspects allegedly rented high-end apartments complexes, with monthly rent up to $3,664, to set up as brothel locations. Often women were “enticed” with provided travel and lodging accommodations, the affidavit said.

The websites publicly advertised “nude Asian models” available for professional photography appointments, the affidavit stated, listing measurements and showing pictures of the women.

The buyers would have to provide refences and personal details before being approved and receiving a “menu” of available women and services by text. The options ranged from approximately $350 to $600 an hour.

This is the 16th case on human trafficking and civil rights prosecutions since the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the region formed a dedicated unit in 2022, Levy said.

“Sex trafficking crimes disproportionately exploit people from our most vulnerable and marginalized communities, people who feel like they do not have a voice,” said Cambridge Police Commissioner Christine Elow. “It is through these investigative efforts that we shine a light on sex trafficking as a global issue that needs not only global attention, but also local attention.”

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