DICKINSON, N.D. — A woman arrested in Dickinson, N.D., on facilitation of prostitution charges now faces additional charges of human trafficking.
A multi-agency operation in September targeting Tokyo Q Spa resulted in the arrest of Jiang Jennings, 56, of Hanover Park Ill.
According to court records, the human trafficking charges Jennings now faces carry a potential sentence of 20 years in the custody of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Jennings was arrested during the raid conducted by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Dickinson Police Department on the Dickinson spa following tips that the facility was engaged in sexual favors for money. Jennings pleaded not guilty to the facilitation of prostitution charges during her preliminary hearing.
The operation also targeted the Hong Kong Spa in Bismarck, according to Capt. Joe Cianni of the Dickinson Police Department. The other agencies involved were the Bismarck Police Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
According to Cianni, all the Tokyo Q Spa employees were adults and the prostitution operations did not involve any children younger than 18.
An affidavit filed in the case alleges that Jennings acted as a recruiter for the spa, actively recruiting and transporting workers to Dickinson, where they were held in a "debt bondage," according to court records. Jennings is alleged to have isolated the women and required them to work 12-hour days, seven days a week.
Debt bondage is the act of exchanging work for a debt, which ultimately can never be paid under the structure of the bondage. The structure of debt bondage is also known as debt slavery, and often involves workers imposed under brutal circumstances. According to the court records, Jennings placed the women in debt bondage as a result of housing and transportation costs being unable to be repaid under the structure of the agreement.
During a preliminary hearing, investigators testified that the spa's employees were charged $20 a night to stay at the spa and were paid $10 for each massage. To make progress on the overall debt, employees of the spa were encouraged to solicit sexual acts for payment.
The Dickinson spa is registered with TM Enterprise Group LLC. The owner's address is listed as the residence of Bismarck physician Craig Grorud, 66.
Grorud was named in state records as the owner of the Hong Kong Spa in Bismarck, according to the North Dakota Secretary of State's website — though his involvement with the Tokyo Q Spa remains unclear. The Honk Kong Spa also was raided in September, which netted subsequent arrests for solicitation of prostitution.
Criminal charges against Grorud allege that he knowingly allowed the businesses to be used for prostitution, according to court documents.