BILLINGS- A man accused of operating a prostitution ring for two Billings massage parlors pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday.
Scot Donald Petrie, 61 of Billings, faces federal charges of conspiracy, coercion and transporting a person from out of state to work as a prostitute. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life of supervised release.
Prosecutors allege in court documents that Petrie operated in a ring to bring a woman to participate in prostitution at King Spa and A Spa in Billings.
Federal investigators first began looking into Petrie’s activites in June 2014, when he placed an ad in Backpage.com for human trafficking, prosecutors stated.
In January, he allegedly bought a bus ticket for a woman to come to work in prostitution in Billings. He also picked up another woman from the airport for the same purpose, prosecutors said.
Petrie has been released from jail pending trial. A telephonic pretrial conference is set for May 1 with U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen of Missoula.