Massage Parlor Owner Gets Life for Trafficking

     CHICAGO (CN) – A federal judge ordered a life sentence for an Illinois man who enslaved Eastern European women and forced them to work as massage parlor prostitutes.
     Alex Campbell, 45, of Glenview, Ill., operated the Day and Night Spa in Mt. Prospect, Ill.
     Prosecutors say Campbell used violence and threats of violence to force three women from the Ukraine and one from Belarus to work for him without pay and, at times, little-to-no subsistence between July 2008 and January 2010.
     Campbell was convicted in January of forced labor, harboring illegal aliens for financial gain, sex trafficking by force, extortion, and confiscating passports and other immigration documents to force the victims to work.
     The trial showed that Campbell lured foreign women without legal status in the United States with promises of work, a place to live and assistance with immigration. After wooing the women into a romantic relationship and gaining their trust, he forced them to get tattooed with his moniker, which he said made them his property and allowed him to stop paying them.
     Testimony showed that Campbell confiscated passports and identity documents from three of the women. Campbell forced one woman to engage in commercial sex acts with customers at various other massage parlors, but not at Day and Night, which he operated cleanly.
     When one victim wanted to leave Cambell’s so-called “family,” he threatened to send a sexually explicit video of her to her parents in Belarus unless she paid him $25,000.
     All four women testified against Campbell, as did his 25-year-old co-defendant Danielle John.
     John pleaded guilty to two counts of harboring illegal aliens for financial gain and was sentenced to three years probation. The government also presented evidence of 20 additional women whom Campbell victimized.
     In addition to the life sentence, Campbell must also pay $124,000 in restitution, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman ruled. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

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