Ron Kind Rented Property to Masseuse Suspected of Prostitution, Human Trafficking

Police records show business owner kicked out of South Dakota for illegal activity

July 15, 2021

Before opening an alleged prostitution parlor on property owned by Rep. Ron Kind (D., Wis.), a Chinese masseuse lost her occupational license in another state after local police linked her to human trafficking and prostitution.

Chunyan Yang began managing a South Dakota massage parlor in August 2013, local records show. Within months, Sioux Falls police heard reports of "females being held against their will" at the establishment and launched an investigation into "human trafficking" and "prostitution," naming Yang as a subject. Two years later, she pleaded guilty to practicing massage without a license and left South Dakota for Plymouth, Minnesota. But when Yang applied to renew her license in the city as owner of "Asian Health Massage," Plymouth's city council denied the application, citing a police background check that linked the business to "illegal activity" through reviews on illicit sex massage sites. 

"The reviews state that they had sexual experiences with staff or massage therapists at this location," then-Plymouth police chief Mike Goldstein testified at a council hearing. One such review described a masseuse named "Anna," who "began to play around" with the client's testicles before performing a penile maneuver that "made [him] pop in no time." Goldstein later testified that Yang "used a number of different names over the last several years" and that "one of those names was Anna."

Following the ordeal, Yang became the registered agent of La Crosse, Wis.-based Impression Spa in 2018. The parlor has also been advertised on RubMaps—which USA Today describes as "Yelp for sex spas"—and rents office space from Kind, paying the Democrat up to $50,000 in 2018 and 2019 rental income. 

Kind has staunchly defended Impression Spa, calling criticism of its advertisements a "baseless, defamatory attack against an Asian woman-owned small business" in a May statement. The Democrat has yet to address Yang's past legal issues and longstanding ties to prostitution, and his campaign did not return a request for comment on whether he vetted Yang's business history before renting his property to her.

Yang's alleged prostituting continued after the masseuse lost her license in Minnesota. In February 2017, police arrested an Asian Health Massage employee for prostitution following a sexual interaction with an undercover officer, Fox News reported in May. Yang personally directed the officer toward a "dimly lit room" before the massage, the police report states. She later told police that the business was registered in her "daughter's name" as city officials denied her license renewal application.

In May, Kind blamed Impression Spa's advertisements on RubMaps and other sexual sites on Google, saying that "because of Google's algorithms, [the ads] get attached to various sites that the small business has no control over." A Google spokesman pushed back on the defense, however, telling the Washington Free Beacon that the company "does not run Google ads" on any of the illicit sites in question and "prohibit[s] content that promotes compensated sex acts."

Wisconsin attorney Joe Veenstra of Johns, Flaherty & Collins also defended Impression Spa—which has since been renamed Asian Sunny Massage—as a "perfectly legitimate business." In a May statement, the attorney threatened "serious legal action" toward "anyone in the press" publishing "political hit pieces." Veenstra, however, did not disclose his status as a Kind campaign donor. The firm's managing partner, Brent Smith, has also served as Kind's campaign treasurer since August 2020, campaign finance disclosures show.

Veenstra did not return a request for comment.

Voters in Wisconsin's Third Congressional District first elected Kind in 1996. He will likely face retired Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden in 2022 after defeating the Republican by less than 3 points in November.