Investigation at State College hotel leads to prostitution charges against 2 women

Centre Daily Times, file

Two women were arrested Thursday for alleged prostitution at the Super 8 hotel in State College after a joint undercover investigation by State College police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

The investigation began Tuesday when Brookville police arrested a man who said two women — later identified as 51-year-old Yu-Ying Yeh and 56-year-old Tsai-Hsia Wu — were posting sexual ads online.

A State College police detective found the ads online, compared them with a human trafficking database and determined the ads were posted about 1,500 times across Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Alaska.

Police spoke with the Super 8 hotel managers Thursday and were given a room directly across the hallway from Yeh and Wu’s room.

Three men entered the room at different times and all three were eventually pulled over by police when they attempted to leave the area. They all admitted to having sex with at least one woman, according to police.

About three hours later, a Super 8 manager told police Yeh and Wu asked to have their room switched because “police were watching them ... and they were done working for tonight.’ ”

The manager obliged, but again gave police a room directly across the hallway.

Yeh and Wu exited the room with multiple bags, purses and luggage about two hours later. Hotel staff then gave police permission to search the room.

Yeh, who doesn’t speak English, told police through a language line that an operator posts the advertisements, answers calls, arranges meetings with clients and books reservations for hotels.

“I have sex with clients when I want to make money,” Yeh allegedly said.

Yeh was charged with one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility and both were charged with one misdemeanor count of prostitution.

They were arraigned Friday by District Judge Casey McClain, who denied them bail because they’re “extreme flight risk(s).” Both are being detained at the Centre County Correctional Facility.

Each has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.