ST. GEORGE — A Cedar City man who admitted to taking his wife to massage parlors to perform sexual acts for pay was sentenced in a Mohave County court in Kingman, Arizona, last month.
The defendant, 41-year-old Stephen Clair Hansen, a lifelong resident of Utah, appeared in Superior Court of Arizona in Kingman, where he pleaded guilty to a reduced class 6 felony charge of attempted pandering, reduced from the original pandering charge, a class 5 felony, as part of the plea agreement.
The charge stems from a felony indictment filed in Mohave County Sept. 27, 2018, after a multi-agency investigation into suspected human trafficking that authorities believed was taking place in several Asian massage parlors throughout the county – particularly Lake Havasu City, according to charging documents filed with the Arizona court.
Eight people were indicted during the months-long investigation, including Hansen, who was not considered a participant in the multistate enterprise. Instead, authorities say Hansen admittedly drove his fiancee, who is now his wife, to work at the massage parlor in Lake Havasu City knowing she would be providing sexual services, the indictment said.
Hansen was located by police on the afternoon of Sept. 20 when detectives and agents responded to one of the massage parlors with a search warrant. When they entered the business, it appeared to be open but unoccupied – until they kicked in a door and found a man alone on a massage bed.
During a search of the building, investigators found another man, later identified as Hansen, and a woman, later identified as Hansen’s then-fiance, Fang Fang Chen, in one of the back offices.
Hansen told detectives during an interview that he lived in Cedar City with Chen. He also said that due to the lack of massage parlors in Cedar City, Chen had to travel to find work at various parlors in Arizona and New Mexico. The couple had arrived in Lake Havasu two days before the raid and were staying at an apartment.
Detectives then interviewed the man on the bed, who told police that Chen gave him a massage, during which she performed a sexual act on him for which he planned to tip her $60-80. He also admitted to visiting the parlor four months prior, police say, and receiving the same services from a different woman.
While Chen initially denied doing anything with the man besides a massage, she later admitted to performing a manual sex act on the man, but she denied that Hansen or “the bosses” knew that she was performing such acts.
When Hansen was interviewed a second time, he told police that “as far as he knew” Chen only gave a massage and manual stimulation while working at the massage parlor. He went on to say he was against her doing any other sexual acts but added that he was unable to stop her from doing what she wanted to do.
Hansen then told detectives that Chen’s activities in the massage parlors were “better than what she was doing before, prostituting out of hotel rooms.” He admitted that he knew what she was doing but denied telling her to perform the acts.
According to investigators, Hansen admitted that from a legal standpoint, “what Chen is doing is prostitution.”
Under the plea deal, Hansen was placed on two years supervised probation and was granted credit for the two days he served in jail. If probation is successfully completed, the felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.
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