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Updated Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 03/26/14
COURT DATE. Above, Attorney J. Kim Welch speaks with Judge Denis LeDuc at the 42-1 District Court with his clients, Oksun Hughes and Kyung Moore, behind him on March 18. The women, along with Daniel Robin of Flint, are being charged with keeping a house of prostitution at the Washington Wellness Spa on Van Dyke.
(Observer photo by Chris Gray)
Washington Twp spa
prostitution case delayed
by CHRIS GRAYProceedings involving allegations against a business owner and his employees running prostitution operations have been delayed.
Observer Staff Writer
Daniel Robin, 64, owner of the Washington Wellness Spa, and his employees, Kyung Suk Moore, 57, and Oksun Hughes, 59, will return to court in April following a preliminary conference held March 18.
All three appeared before Judge Denis LeDuc at the 42-1 District Court in Romeo. They face charges of keeping a house of prostitution, a five-year felony, and using a computer to commit a crime, a seven-year felony. Moore and Hughes are also charged with prostitution/accosting and soliciting, a 93-day misdemeanor.
The charges stem from an undercover investigation of the spa by the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. The women were arrested on Feb. 13 while Robin, a Flint resident, turned himself in on March 4. All defendants posted bond and are equipped with GPS tethers.
Norbert Leonard, Robin's attorney, indicated he wanted additional discovery to take place before the proceedings continued.
"In view of the nature of the charges, the computer forensics and the bank records, in my view, are essential," he said.
Det. Sgt. Melissa Stevens told LeDuc the bank records were expected to be available on March 20. However, she said seven seized computer devices were awaiting forensic analysis.
"The last I had spoke to the sergeant that is in charge of that unit, she said they were about three months behind," she said.
Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Harding said computer cases involving child pornography or online predators take priorty, but would ask the sheriff's computer task force about expediting the analysis.
In light of this, LeDuc agreed to schedule an exam date at 1:30 p.m. on April 17.
Immediately following Robin's case were Moore and Hughes. Attorney J. Kim Welch requested the tether on Hughes be removed so she could "shut down" her home in New Jersey.
"She is going to sell the home to help pay for her legal fees" and other expenses, he said.
Harding said there was no reason a tether couldn't remain on her during such a trip. Stevens agreed, saying the tether would help track Hughes should she not return.
LeDuc denied the request, saying he wasn't comfortable with Hughes leaving the state. He did, however, agree to have her driver's license returned.
Welch also requested the proceedings for his clients be adjourned, and to set a date prior to Robin's exam for Moore.
"We feel that her involvement in this manner is extremely low and there may be some opportunity for some resolvement at an earlier date," he said.
Harding said due to commonalities in the evidence Moore and Hughes should appear at the same time, but agreed to an earlier date.
"To accomplish what we may need to do . . . it may take a couple weeks," he said.
The next court appearance for the women was scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 1.
The alleged illegal activities were reported by Washington Township Supervisor Dan O'Leary, who was informed by a resident of suspicious and inappropriate activities going on at the 27 Mile Road and Van Dyke business.
The sheriff's Special Enforcement Team (SET) held a month-long undercover investigation to collect evidence that the spa was propositioning customers.
"Both of my clients maintain their innocence, and look forward to their day of justice," Welch said.