Feb 22, 2019

Details emerge on Florida sex ring that ensnared Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Police announced Thursday that human traffickers lured women to 10 Orlando-area massage parlors, where they were intimidated into prostitution, TCPalm reports. The 6-month investigation culminated in charges against dozens of individuals who solicited the parlors, including New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft.

Details: The spas were closed down on Tuesday as Vero Beach Police began making arrests. Indian River County agencies issued warrants for 173 people on charges that include human trafficking, racketeering and soliciting prostitution. Thus far, nearly 50 of the 165 accused of paying for sex acts have been arrested.

  • Six "major players" have been charged in organizing the prostitution ring, according to TCPalm. Two remain at large.
  • Detectives witnessed an Orlando couple bring multiple women with suitcases into and out of their spas in Sebastian, Winter Park and Orlando, Florida, "for the purpose of sexual servitude," according to an arrest warrant. Police said the victims, many of which came from China on temporary work visas, lived in the spas and weren't permitted to leave freely.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 400,000 worldwide on Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: Almost 6.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally and more than 3 million have recovered from the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.9 million.

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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