The madam of a Melbourne brothel where a teenage girl was being sold for sex claims she had no idea the child was underage.
Ying Yang, 51, and Cheng Li, 32, both from Mitcham, and Xiang Zhang, of Doncaster, are accused of forcing the 16-year old child into sex work.
Yang was the madam of Heidelberg Angel in September last year when police stormed the premises and rescued the child.
Ying Yang, 51, leaves Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday. She is accused of being the madam of a brother that allegedly employed a 16-year old as a sex worker at the Vernon Street brothel. Cheng Li, 32, can be seen directly behind her
Melbourne brothel Heidelberg Angel has been caught up in a child prostitution investigation that has already seen three people charged
The brothel advertised that it was the ‘Best Asian Brothel’ in Melbourne
Cheng Li, 32, both from Mitcham, had nothing to say as he left a Melbourne court on Friday. He is accused of pimping out a teenager
She appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday with each of her co-accused.
It is understood both Yang and Li claim to have been duped by the teenager with a fake ID and plan to contest the charges.
Meanwhile, the court heard charges against Zhang remain up in the air while police work to ascertain if footage captured from the premises is in fact him.
The 60-year old is expected to have the charges dropped at his next appearance in July.
Outside court, all three of the accused child pimps refused to comment.
In April, Daily Mail Australia revealed none of the accused had even been placed on bail by police following their arrest in March.
Back then, Leading Senior-Constable Glenn Holland told Daily Mail Australia the alleged pimps’ were released on summons while detectives prepared the case.
It is understood the alleged victim had worked at the Vernon Street brothel – 10kms northeast of Melbourne – between August and September last year.
However, they were not charged until March 25.
All three face charges of: causing a child to take part in sex work; obtaining payment for sexual services by a child; agreement for provision of sexual services by a child; and allowing a child to take part in sex work.
The two men were also charged with failing to have supervision of a brothel.
The brothel promotes itself to largely Asian clientele.
Leading Senior-Constable Glenn Holland has brought the charges against the alleged child pimps. He charged the group on summons in March as Victorians went into COVID-19 lockdown
Heidelberg Angels (pictured) has been busted for allegedly employing a child as a sex worker
Xiang Zhang, of Doncaster, is questioned by Channel 9 newshound Eliza Rugg. The 60-year old is expected to have his charges dumped
‘Just 5 minutes from Northland Shopping Centre, Heidelberg Angel is one of the hottest Asian brothels you can find in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne,’ it boasts.
‘Heidelberg Angel is your stop-by for some gentleman’s fun.’
Police will allege the teenager was offered for sex for as little as $100.
The brothel claims to abide by Victoria’s Sex Work Act of 1994.
‘To protect our girls and ensure their rights while offering our customers great gentleman fun,’ it states.
‘We follow every single rule of the Sex Work Act 1994 from Victoria for a legal and licensed environment to both you and our girls.’
Ying Yang, 51, faces a swag of child sex exploitation charges amid accusations she put up a 16-year old for sale
Heidelberg Angel listed its rates on its website. Police allege a teenage girl was being hired-off to its customers for sex
It remains unclear where the alleged victim originates, with the brothel claiming to employee girls from Australia and China, to Japan, India and the United Kingdom.
‘Our angels come from all around the world to bring you an authentic sexual experience across the globe,’ it claims.
Google reviews of the establishments reveals the brothel was under pressure from customers to hire younger women.
‘The girls are too old and the service was too short and less than the time i paid for,’ one disgruntled customer posted just under a year ago.
‘Only 2 old ladies when I was there, won’t come back,’ another wrote.
One review received a response from the owner defending the supposedly old age of its employees.
‘Dear customer, I am sorry for giving you a bad feeling! There were eight girls in their 20s at our store today！We update girls every day, welcome to visit again,’ the post stated.
All three of the accused were released back into the community until April next year, with charges against Zhang likely to be dealt with by the end of next month.
The specialised unit that busted the brothel visited legal brothels more than 50 times and suspected illegal brothels 150 times last year.
Brothels are among the long list of venues that have been banned from operating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Police have been cracking down on companies operating illegally during this time.
A Sydney brothel was fined $5000 for continuing to operate and three staff were each fined $1000 on March 29.