Video above is our story from August 2019. This video will be updated.
ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — The owner of Rose’s Spa in Rockville, Maryland, entered a guilty plea Monday morning to operating a House of Prostitution in Montgomery County Circuit Court. She will be sentenced in June.
Emily Zhang Lawrence, 47 of Germantown, was charged with prostitution and human trafficking in August 2019. This came after months of investigation stemming from a web tip the Montgomery County Police Department received on February 26, 2019, the State’s Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland said Monday in a news release.
In August, police said they found 18 male customers who admitted to paying for illicit sexual acts. Some of these customers told police Lawrence was the one who controlled and received the payments. Authorities believe the employees are Chinese immigrants recruited from Flushing, New York. Officers said they tracked Lawrence shuttling six women back and forth from a home in Germantown she used as a dormitory for sex workers. The women, when questioned by authorities, indicated they responded to ads for masseuses and Lawrence trained them when they arrived.
The state’s attorney’s office said Lawrence admitted to shutting down the spa for a week in April, after a client told her there was an investigation. However, she re-opened Rose’s Spa and continued to operate it as a house of prostitution.
Lawrence is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2 this year. The State and the defense agreed to a sentencing of one year, suspended, and unsupervised probation. Lawrence will have to forfeit her business license and will not be allowed to operate any spa or massage business in Maryland as a condition of her probation.