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Massage parlor owner pleads guilty in Kansas case

Associated Press - May 8, 2014 6:24 pm

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The owner of Asian massage parlors in Wichita has admitted his role in a sex trafficking case unfolding in Kansas.

Gary Kidgell, of Waltham  Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to new charges of obstruction and harboring an immigrant living illegally in the United States. Prosecutors agreed in exchange to drop sex trafficking charges against him at sentencing.

Kidgell admitted telling other inmates at a Kansas jail earlier this year that he intended to harm the law enforcement officer involved in his case unless he got the outcome he wanted. He also acknowledged harboring a woman he suspected was in the U.S. illegally.

Kidgell and his wife, Wichita resident Yan Zhang, were accused of recruiting women to come to Wichita to work at massage parlors, then coercing them into prostitution.