Following an undercover NYPD sting, several people are facing charges in an extensive members-only Asian prostitution ring that officers traced through online reviews.
The Manhattan district attorney's office charged William Thomas, 42, of Fort Greene, with promoting prostitution after he allegedly set up a visit Oct. 11 with Japanese hookers for an undercover cop.
Thomas is accused of operating an extensive prostitution business with two websites dedicated to promoting sex services from a slew of Japanese and Korean women, according to the Manhattan D.A.
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Customers allegedly visited prostitutes at locations all over Manhattan, on Maiden Lane, East 50th Street, West 36th Street and East 58th Street.
According to the criminal complaint, Thomas' websites, E4AKorea.com and E4ANYC.com, featured photos of scantily clad or nude women and a price list which ranged from $200 to $300 per hour and from $180 to $200 per half hour.
The website E4AKorea.com included a link to The Erotic Review, or TER — a website where patrons of prostitutes shared and reviewed their experiences. The links led to profiles for women named "Cindy" and "Olivia" who operated out of a Midtown location, according to several reviews.
According to the Manhattan DA.'s office, the undercover officer became a member of the "E4AKorea private men’s club" and met with Thomas to arrange a session with one of the women featured on the website. Thomas allegedly got into the officer's car at Sixth Avenue at 36th Street before he was directed to 238 East 50th Street. There, the officer said he was shown several women, including one who said she would engage in sex with a condom.
That woman, identified as 28-year-old Jung Lee, was arrested and charged with prostitution and promoting prostitution.
Another woman, 38-year-old Rei Spain was also charged with promoting prostitution after she told the undercover officer "the Japanese girls don’t do full service, only massage and 'happy ending' for $100 plus $40 tip," according to the complaint.
Thomas will next appear in court Dec. 13. He could a face of maximum of seven years in prison.
The language of prostitution
According to the criminal complaint, Thomas would often communicate with potential clients via an email address listed on the websites. In one thread from February, an email to a interested John offered services like "FS," meaning "full service," or "GFE."
GFE, or girlfriend experience as defined in the complaint, means a prostitute will show intimate affection to a client, like kissing, and sometimes engage in sex without a condom. One user on TER referenced his experience with a woman through Thomas' alleged company.
"Olivia is a very stunning K-girl with a GFE attitude," he wrote. "After a nice joint shower, back to the room for some action."
The cyber age of brothels
The E4AKorea.com and E4ANYC.com websites encouraged potential clients to send them links to reviews they left on The Erotic Review, or TER, in order to become a member of E4AKorea, according to the criminal complaint.
TER, which features profiles of escorts in cities across the country, includes explicit reviews for those willing to pay for so-called VIP membership.
Profiles contain graphic details about the women, including their breast appearance and whether they have tattoos or piercings. The profiles also contain a list of sex acts the woman may or may not be willing to perform, including oral sex and S&M.
Several reviewers state E4AKorea operated on a "two-call system," meaning customers first call to obtain general information and set up an appointment, and call a second time right before the appointment to receive an exact address and time.