Two sisters accused of running a sex trafficking ring out of four homes in San Francisco’s Richmond and Sunset districts appeared in court this afternoon to answer to charges of pimping and pandering.
The San Francisco women, Qiao “Judy” He, 37, and her sister Gaineng He, 36, were in court to be arraigned on 16 counts of pimping and pandering and conspiracy.
Their arraignments were continued until Wednesday and a Mandarin court interpreter will be brought into proceedings.
Meanwhile the two remain out on $50,000 bail.
The pair was arrested Monday after a five-month joint investigation with the state Attorney General’s Office, San Francisco police and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
An investigation that started in January with the state Attorney General’s Office’s Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force, or TRaCE, found alleged sex trafficking occurring out of San Francisco’s Richmond and Sunset districts.
Investigators said “johns” were apparently paying up to $200 to have sex with young Asian women at area brothels.
According to the state Attorney General’s Office, undercover agents were told “new girls” were brought in every Sunday.
Search warrants were executed on May 7 at four San Francisco locations: 385 Seventh Ave. and 4719 Geary Blvd., Unit No. 601 and 2094 and 1511 24th Ave.
The TRaCE Task Force, created at the start of the year, includes members of the FBI, state Franchise Tax Board, state Board of Equalization, state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and other agencies.
The women are represented by Deputy Public Defender Aaron Grant and attorney George Lazarus. Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai is prosecuting the case.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News