State

Massage parlor owner who branded women gets life

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago massage parlor owner will serve a life prison sentence for forcing four women from Eastern Europe into prostitution and even branding them with tattoos to mark them as his.

Alex Campbell was convicted in January of compelling the women to work from Mount Prospect's Day and Night Spa starting in 2008.

Prosecutors say Campbell duped women without legal status into joining what he called his "family." He would later tell them that tattooing their bodies made the women his property and meant he didn't have to pay them.

At a Monday hearing in Chicago, federal Judge Robert Gettleman told the Glenview man his cruelty had effectively sentenced his victims to lives of suffering. And so he said the same sentence — life — was appropriate for Campbell.

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