Federal Jury Convicts on Sex Trafficking and Involuntary Servitude Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana
HAMMOND – United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, David Capp, announced that Rita Law, 58, of Chicago, Illinois, and Crystal Wireman, 32, of Lake Station, Indiana, were found guilty today following a 3-week jury trial.
The jury rendered guilty verdicts on all counts against Defendant Rita Law. Law was initially charged in October 2013 with transporting a woman in interstate commerce with intent that the woman engage in prostitution. On the day she was charged, Law fled to Hong Kong. Upon her arrival in Hong Kong, Law was apprehended and extradited to the United States. Thereafter, a grand jury sitting in Hammond, Indiana brought additional charges against Law for sex trafficking and involuntary servitude and for using an interstate facility to promote prostitution.
Because these additional charges were brought against Law by the United States after she was extradited, Article 16 of the Agreement between the Government of Hong Kong and the Government of the United States for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders required the United States to seek consent to proceed on the new charges, which was granted
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Law provided and obtained the labor and services of two victims, referred to at trial as HV and XC, by means of a scheme, plan and pattern intended to cause them to believe that if they did not perform the labor and service, they would suffer serious harm and physical restraint. Law caused both women to work at her “spas” in Northwest Indiana, where they were expected to and did engage in sexual acts in exchange for money with Law’s predominantly male clientele. Law’s businesses were called “Duneland Spa” in Lake Station and Gary, Indiana and “Fun Fun Feet” in Hobart, Indiana. Law was also convicted of transporting victim XC in interstate commerce with intent that she engage in prostitution and using a telephone to promote, manage, establish, carry on and facilitate prostitution in violation of Indiana Code.
The jury also convicted Defendant Crystal Wireman of using a telephone to promote, manage, establish, carry on and facilitate prostitution in violation of Indiana Code § 35-45-4-2 and § 35-45-4-4. According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Wireman worked as a masseuse at Law’s spas in Hobart and Gary, Indiana and assisted Law in managing her prostitution business.
This case was prosecuted as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Gary Police Department, the Hammond Police Department, the Hobart Police Department, the Lake Station Police Department, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oak Forest (Illinois) Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jill Koster and Abizer Zanzi.
# # #
Updated February 10, 2017