Last year, dozens of men had their penises touched at massage parlors on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Another was a police officer, identified as Detective Brock. The former was charged with two misdemeanors and became a punchline.
It was just three days before New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft supposedly solicited sex at a massage parlor in Jupiter. Police investigating human trafficking had been watching the place for more than two months. Now they wanted to record what was happening inside.
When asked about the plea, both prosecutors and the defense attorney said there were some concerns with the case. He says a recording of the interaction was provided, but it was hard to determine what was actually going on. Mallard believed prosecutors would have issues trying to prove she solicited a sexual act.
A six-month human-trafficking and prostitution sting in massage parlors across Florida yielded hundreds of arrest warrants, including several from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter where at least two business executives were charged of soliciting a prostitute. Ten spas have closed since the operation that stretched from Palm Beach to Orlando, according to the Associated Press. Cameras inside and outside the businesses were reportedly planted in the operation, with videotapes revealing some of the defendants committing sexual acts.
Toby Landry, left, during a press conference to announce several arrests involving prostitution, pandering and human trafficking Wednesday, February 13,at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Offfice in Lafayette, La. At least one woman picked up Tuesday in a Lafayette Parish prostitution bust is believed to be the victim of sex trafficking. Eight people were arrested Tuesday night on counts ranging from human trafficking to operating a place of prostitution in a roundup at five massage parlors and three residences, Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber said during a news conference Wednesday.
Brothels posing as massage parlors and Asian spas have been part of the American landscape for decades, hidden in plain sight. But the Florida prostitution sting that ensnared New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft last week is a reminder of the human trafficking and abuse taking place behind the darkened windows of many of these storefronts — and how challenging they are to address. The case also highlights how police and prosecutors are increasingly using a broad range of approaches, including deeper investigations into wider criminal networks, crackdowns on online sites where johns trade detailed sex reviews and enforcement of stricter civil codes on the massage industry, anti-trafficking activists said.
Five owners and operators were arrested and the massage parlors were shuttered last week in the raids in Seattle's Chinatown-International District and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. A small neon sign. Grimy windows blacked out with heavy fabric.
She was 49, a recent immigrant and deeply in debt to a loan shark back home in China when she answered an employment ad three years ago that promised thousands of dollars a month, but offered no job description. She realized too late that she had been tricked into working at a massage parlor in Flushing, Queens, where besides kneading backs, she was expected to sexually service up to a dozen men a day. In strip malls across the country, neon signs and brightly colored placards promise hot stones, acupuncture and shiatsu with photos of women or couples receiving relaxing shoulder rubs.
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Prosecutors have dropped prostitution charges against four women who operated two massage parlors in Parkersburg. According to records in Wood County Magistrate Court, the prostitution charges were dropped on April 18 as part of a plea agreement with the Wood County prosecuting attorney's office. Police began investigating Hot Stone Massages on Murdoch Avenue and the Asian Massage Parlor on Emerson Avenue after getting an anonymous tip about alleged sexual activity at the businesses.