Following a two-day trial, the Palau Supreme Court found Congying Liu, an employee of Jia Ren Massage Parlor and a Chinese national, guilty of prostitution on Wednesday, August 26.
The conviction comes as a result of a criminal investigation conducted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Anti-Human Trafficking Office earlier this year, on the use of the Jia Ren Massage Parlor as an illegal center of prostitution. The initial case, beginning in June, was against three Chinese nationals charged with prostitution, as well as Governor of Ngaraard State Benjamin Iskawa, owner of Jia Ren, which is located in Ngerbeched, Koror.
Undercover operations in May of this year caught Ms. Liu attempting to engage in prostitution, and unearthed evidence suggesting that it was a regular practice at the parlor, including a notebook detailing names, places, and money exchanged. Evidence suggested that Governor Iskawa knew about this, and continued to receive money from the business conducted there.
Ms. Liu later severed her case from the other cases, and proceeded to trial within 70 days of her initial court appearance in June.
Presiding Justice Kathleen M. Salii pronounced the verdict after the conclusion of the trial, citing evidence of the defendant’s guilt, including the testimony of witnesses, the actions of the defendant, and her employment at Jia Ren.
Ms. Liu was sentenced to a year of incarceration, suspended on the condition of probation, a $500 fine to be paid within eight months, and a directive to leave Palau within a year. The Court also instructed her to find work within that time with the assistance of the Probation Department and the Division of Labor, in somewhere other than a massage parlor. Her probation will be terminated once the fine is paid and a ticket to leave Palau is purchased.

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