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Four get ARD, probation in massage parlor prostitution case

Di Xu, Jin Wang and Ailian Chen arrive at Cranberry District Judge David Kovach's courtroom in August of 2017, for a preliminary hearing.

Four people charged in a prostitution case in Cranberry Township last year were placed on 12 months probation and accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Di Xu, 41, Ailian Chen, 65, and Jing Wang, 45, all of Cranberry Township and Oliver J. Price III, 75, of Bakerstown agreed to the probation and ARD terms in what was scheduled as a status conference for their trial, which was to begin Monday before Judge William R. Shaffer.

He ordered the defendants to report to the Butler County Adult Probation office that day, instead of his courtroom for trial.

“Our goal was to shut them down and hit them economically,” Ben Simon, Butler County assistant district attorney, said after the hearing of the prosecution's goal in the case.

The four defendants initially were charged with felony counts of conspiracy in a corrupt organization, conspiracy to promote prostitution and possession of an instrument of crime and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

The possession of an instrument of crime charges against Xu and Wang were previously withdrawn.

On Tuesday the defendants pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct. All other charges against them were postponed, but will be reactivated if the defendants don't obey rules of probation or are arrested again, Shaffer said.

All the charges will be dismissed if the defendants successfully complete probation, Shaffer said.

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