SEATTLE (AP) — Police in the Seattle area say they freed a dozen women who were forced into prostitution, arrested at least 14 people and shut down a website this week as part of a human trafficking investigation.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart said most of the exploited women had been brought to the U.S. from South Korea, where some had been forced into bondage to pay off debts their families owed to criminal organizations.
He said 11 men who were arrested were part of an online network that included websites where customers rated the women and posted details to help facilitate the prostitution.
They face felony charges of promoting prostitution, as do some brothel managers.
Authorities seized a website called The Review Board, which they said had about 20,000 members around the country.