WICHITA, Kansas (AP) – A federal prosecutor says a massage parlor owner accused of coercing women into prostitution recruited those who spoke only Mandarin Chinese so they would be isolated in Wichita.
Details of the case against 44-year-old Gary H. Kidgell, of Waltham, Mass., surfaced Wednesday during a detention hearing. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren refused to free him pending trial, finding he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart also told the court that Kidgell left Wichita amid the investigation and moved to Boston where he opened another parlor.
Defense attorney David Freund disputed the characterization that the women were isolated, noting they could call anywhere on a cellphone.
Kidgell and two co-defendants are accused of sharing resources to operate nine massage parlors in Wichita.