Twelve men and one woman have been charged with promoting prostitution following a wide-ranging investigation that resulted in the shutdown of 12 brothels in Bellevue and the seizure of two sex-trafficking sites, according to police and prosecutors.

The brothels were operated out of high-end apartment complexes in Bellevue, where prostituted women from South Korea were forced to work often for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, to pay off debts, according to Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett.

One of the brothel owners is an alleged member of “The League,” an exclusive group of local sex buyers who were also charged with promoting prostitution after being infiltrated by undercover detectives, he said.

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