Two Hays women charged with promoting the sale of sexual relations have requested preliminary hearings on the charges in a court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Qin Yao, 54, and Ya Dong Wen, 49, appeared together in Ellis County District Court for a status hearing.
The women were charged Feb. 2 after arrests were made at a Chinese massage parlor at 1700 Vine following an investigation by the Hays Police Department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation into alleged offenses that occurred Jan. 31.
Yao faces charges of promoting the sale of sexual relations/employed to perform sexual acts, which is a level nine, person felony, and a charge of selling sexual relations, a misdemeanor.
Wen faces charges of promoting the sale of sexual relations by permitting her property to be used where sexual relations are being sold, a level nine, person felony, and a misdemeanor count of selling sexual relations.
Chief Judge Glenn R. Braun advised the attorneys to keep their comments short to help the court-appointed translator relay information to Wen and Yao.
Olavee Raub, defense attorney for Wen, requested a preliminary hearing for her client and told Braun she was concerned about discovery — the procedure of obtaining and disclosing evidence of each side of a case.
She said her concern was receiving information about the investigation in a timely manner for a preliminary hearing and obtaining a search warrant that she had not been aware of.
She also was concerned about the release of Wen’s personal affects, such as identification and credit cards.
Yao’s defense attorney, Curtis Brown, said he had the same concerns for his client.
Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees said he had received reports from HPD investigators, but not from the KBI. The search warrant, he said, can be obtained through the court clerk’s office.
Braun said the preliminary hearing can be scheduled when discovery is complete, and he advised the defense attorneys to notify him of any further concerns about receiving information.
The judge noted another concern would be finding a translator who can perform simultaneous translation for further court proceedings. Braun said he likely would schedule the preliminary hearing in his court, as he has had experience working with such a translator.