Following a joint investigation by State College police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, three men were charged on Monday for allegedly having sex with prostitutes at a State College hotel.
State College police were notified in late January by Brookville police about "a possible prostitution/human trafficking operation that was occurring out of the Super 8 motel," on South Atherton Street, according to a criminal complaint. A Brookville officer told State College police that an individual who attempted to trade drugs for sex with a victim of human trafficking in Brookville provided information about Asian females staying at the State College motel who were posting online ads for sexual services.
A State College officer found the online ad, which included a phone number used frequently in similar ads for locations across Pennsylvania, as well as Wisconsin and Alaska. The officer spoke with hotel staff who identified the room the women were staying in since Dec. 29.
On Jan. 31, investigators conducted surveillance from a room across the hall from where Tsai-Hsia Wu, 56, and Yu-Ying Yeh, 51, were staying. Wu and Yeh were charged in February.
According to the complaint, police first observed 65-year-old Victor G. Shvenke, of Bellefonte, entering the women's room. Police said 38-year-old Travis K. Horner, of Lewistown, and 64-year-old Harold Geise, of State College, also were observed entering the room at separate times later that day.
Police followed and conducted traffic stops on each of the men after they left the hotel, and all three allegedly admitted to paying between $140 and $160 for sex.
Shvenke allegedly said he has known Yeh "for years," and had contacted a phone number to arrange the meeting. Geise also allegedly said he had known Yeh "over the years" and had seen her two or three times before. Horner said he had contacted a phone number found in an advertisement online and that he meets "girls like this infrequently," according to police.
All three men are charged with one count each of solicitation of prostitutes and patronizing prostitutes, third-degree misdemeanors. They are scheduled for preliminary hearings in April.
Yeh was charged on Feb. 1 with one count of criminal use of a communication facility, a third-degree felony, and one count of prostitution a third-degree misdemeanor. Wu was charged with one count of prostitution. Yeh allegedly told police that someone in Las Vegas posts the advertisements online and arranges clients, and that she pays them for every customer she sees.
Wu and Yeh are both scheduled to enter guilty pleas on March 20.