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A Utah man is suing after being implicated in a human trafficking ring for driving his wife to and from her job at Asian massage businesses in Utah County. Police raided the places in early 2021 and arrested Joseph Ferreri, his wife Juying Wang, and several other women associated with the businesses where Wang worked.

A police document justifying Ferreri’s arrest relies heavily on generalizations about Asian massage businesses and race-based stereotypes. It’s also peppered with misrepresentations—like describing Wang as a “girl” even though she’s in her 50s and two years older than Ferreri. “The local officer in charge of the ‘investigation’”—American Fork Police Officer Shawn Lott—”embellished, omitted, and made up facts to paint Joe Ferreri as an international sex trafficker,” Ferreri’s lawsuit against Lott and the city alleges, claiming that “the sole basis for targeting Joe was the race/ethnicity of his wife and her occupation.”

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