A Billings man is denying federal charges that he coerced women into commercial sex and has been released on standard conditions.
Scot Donald Petrie pleaded not guilty on Thursday to four counts with a total maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.
The U.S. District Court unsealed an indictment earlier in April saying Petrie coerced two women into providing commercial sex at King Spa and A Spa in Billings, and took half the proceeds for himself and unnamed co-conspirators.
Petrie's activity dates back to 2014 when he placed an ad on Backpage.com, according to the indictment. The website has since been shut down over concerns it was used by sex traffickers.
As recently as January, Petrie arranged transportation for women to come to his Billings spas, prosecutors say.
Petrie is charged with conspiracy, transportation of a person with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of coercion and enticement.
After pleading not guilty Thursday, Petrie was appointed a federal public defender and granted release on his own recognizance.
Petrie will be supervised by a pretrial services officer and restricted to Yellowstone County, except with permission by the supervising officer. He's not to possess a firearm or use alcohol or drugs.
Petrie did not return a voicemail left Friday morning seeking comment.
Petrie inherited the property at 224 Grand Ave., where A Spa was located, through the will of former owner Suzy Kotts, according to filings with the Yellowstone County District Court. Kotts died in December at age 82.
Kotts' city business license for King Spa, 1117 Central Ave., was transferred to Petrie in January 2018.