California man, 2 others charged with running sex ring that catered to elected officials, other wealthy clients

BOSTON — Three people slot have been charged with running a sophisticated commercial sex ring in Massachusetts and eastern Virginia that catered to well-connected clients such as elected officials and military officers, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Women were featured on websites that falsely claimed to advertise nude Asian models for professional photography, and high-end apartments with monthly rents as high as $3,660 were used as brothels, prosecutors say. Another website allowed clients to rate the women, prosecutors say.

“This commercial sex ring was built on secrecy and exclusivity, catering to a wealthy and well-connected clientele, and business was booming, until today,” Levy said.

Authorities have not named the people believed to have bought services through the ring, and none of them have been charged. But Acting Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Josh Levy stressed that the investigation is in the early stages, and said that prosecutors are committed to holding accountable both those who ran the scheme and those who “fueled the demand for this ring.”

Levy said there were possibly hundreds of clients, including government contractors with security clearances, doctors, lawyers, elected officials, military officers, professors and executives at tech companies.