Montana

Massage Parlor Owner With Texas Ties Pleads Guilty to Enticing Prostitution

A woman who owned and operated massage parlors in Montana, and has previous convictions related to prostitution, has pleaded guilty to charges alleging she enticed women to provide prostitution services to customers in Billings, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday.

Kyong Cha Roberts, 68, pleaded guilty Tuesday to coercion and enticement in a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan. A sentencing date has not been set. The crimes carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

From 2016 to 2019, Roberts owned and operated massage parlors in Billings, prosecutors said.

In June 2019, Roberts posted an advertisement in an online Korean newspaper seeking women to work in her massage business. Roberts told a woman who responded to the ad that she could make $5,000 per month at the massage parlor and also talked to the woman about sexual services being provided, prosecutors said. The woman came to Billings and started working for Roberts, who again discussed sexual services, court records said.

This is Roberts' second known federal conviction. In 2006 in Texas, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to structuring or separating large cash deposits and monthly rents from people operating prostitution and other businesses in amounts smaller than $10,000 to avoid federal reporting requirements.

She was sentenced to three years in prison. Roberts and a co-defendant forfeited $444,000 in property, including interest in a commercial building in Dallas, $153,000 in cash, and five vehicles, including three Mercedes-Benz cars.

After she served her prison time and was under supervision in 2010, Roberts was arrested at a massage parlor in Boise, Idaho, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor prostitution, in violation of her probation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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