Following the approval of a search warrant, police placed a GPS tracker on the vehicle and discovered a daily route pattern.
Each morning, Zhang Lawrence would leave her home in Germantown, stop at a condo on Gunners Branch Road and head to the spa in Rockville — before driving the route in reverse after the spa closed at 9 p.m. each night.
Police claimed that the condo — one of Zhang Lawrence’s properties — served as a dormitory for the trafficked women.
Between March 1 and July 19, detectives interviewed 60 male customers leaving the spa, with 18 confessing to pay for “some sort of illicit sex act.”
Zhang Lawrence, who was born in China, is a divorced mother of two. She was arrested on July 24 for running her “house of prostitution.”
“The spa is posing as a normal business but acting as a ‘house of prostitution,’” police wrote in court documents, according to ABC7. “Emily Zhang Lawrence collects money for those illicit acts while owning/operating the spa. She has provided lodging and transportation for the workers, likely victims of human trafficking who are committing those illicit sex acts, for the entirety of the investigation. Zhang Lawrence also uses the condo unit at Gunners Branch Road, which she own, to harbor the Asian female workers at the spa.”
Zhang Lawrence, however, was released on July 25 on a $7,500 bond. A trial is scheduled Aug. 30, WTOP noted.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.