Former massage parlor owner's crimes compared to ‘modern-day slavery'

SHARE Former massage parlor owner's crimes compared to ‘modern-day slavery'

Government supplied copyshot of Alex “Daddy” Campbell, who was convicted of exploiting illegal immigrant women by having them work in his massage parlors Monday, January 30, 2011 | Brian Jackson~Chicago Sun-Times

A northwest suburban massage parlor owner who forced four foreign women into prostitution – and tattooed them with his moniker – faces at least 15 years in prison after he was convicted by a federal jury on Monday.

Alex “Daddy” Campbell was found guilty of three counts each of forced labor, harboring illegal immigrants for financial gain, and confiscating passports and other immigration documents to force the victims to work. He was also convicted of sex-trafficking by force and extortion.

Campbell’s first trial in November was declared a mistrial when a masseuse testifying on the witness stand recognized Campbell’s defense attorney – as a client.

This time, jurors deliberated for two to three hours after a three-week trial.

Campbell, who operated the Day and Night Spa on Northwest Highway in Mount Prospect, used violence and threats of violence to force three women from the Ukraine and one from Belarus to work for him without pay, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

He recruited and groomed illegal immigrants to become part of his “family,” which he claimed would provide them with “support.”

He offered them jobs in his massage parlor, a place to live, assistance with immigration and lured each of them to enter into a romantic relationship with him. After getting that trust, he forced them to get tattooed with his name, which he said made them his property.

The women were forced to do as Campbell instructed, and were beaten if they disobeyed him, prosecutors said.

But the tables turned on Campbell when one of the women approached Des Plaines Police and asked for help. Cook County and federal immigration investigators teamed up to uncover Campbell’s scheme, which Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials described as “tantamount to modern-day slavery.”

All four victims testified, as did codefendant Danielle John, 25, who pleaded guilty before trial to harboring illegal aliens for financial gain.

The victims were granted temporary visas to remain in the U.S. while the case was completed, but may now be deported, assistant U.S. Attorney Diane MacArthur said. Two who have applied to remain in the U.S. can cite their cooperation with prosecutors in their attempts to stay, MacArthur added.

Campbell, 45, formerly of Glenview, remains in federal custody without bond. A sentencing date has yet to be set.

His attorneys at the second trial, Heather Winslow and Melissa Matuzak, stepped in after a masseuse recognized Campbell’s previous attorney, Douglas Rathe.

Campbell plans to appeal, his lawyers said.

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