Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘massage parlor’

In bid to combat prostitution, human trafficking, lawmakers vote to limit massage hours

In Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Legitimate massage therapists are tired of them and law enforcement officials see them as potential venues for human trafficking.

Now, the Florida Legislature is also flexing its muscle in the fight against the growth of adult-oriented massage establishments, places whose marketing and signage skews closer to adult entertainment than therapeutic well-being.

In South Florida, they’re known for their blacked-out windows, neon signs, late-night hours, and sexually suggestive postings in online classified ads. Many are listed on web sites that cater to the men who seek out erotic massages.

Observers worry that in some of these businesses, victims are being forced to perform sexual acts against their will.

That rationale, based on numerous cases of sexual exploitation in brothels posing as massage establishments across the U.S., is now official in Tallahassee. In the recent session, lawmakers unanimously passed massage-specific legislation viewed by stakeholders as an important step — even if some say the legislation doesn’t go far enough.

Source: Sun-Sentinel

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Utah massage parlor owner to stand trial for alleged sex trafficking

In Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on April 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm

A massage parlor owner will stand trial for his role in an alleged sex trafficking ring in which young girls were forced into prostitution.

During a preliminary hearing in 3rd District Court this week, prosecutors presented evidence that Luis Daniel Arano-Hernandez coerced a 17-year-old girl and her mother to be prostituted at two Reiki massage parlors.

Arano-Hernandez, 29, threatened the girl with physical harm and deportation, according to prosecutors. She testified that he arranged for and required her to obtain false ID cards to show she was 18. She also testified that he told her to not contact police after a customer raped her at his business.

Source: Deseret News

Korean nightclub madam sentenced in immigration case

In Forced marriage, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on February 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm
MIRROR FILE PHOTOThe Blue Moon, located at 31140 Pacific Highway S., just north of South 312th Street in Federal Way. The nightclub's entrance is an unmarked door at the back of the building.

MIRROR FILE PHOTO
The Blue Moon, located at 31140 Pacific Highway S., just north of South 312th Street in Federal Way. The nightclub’s entrance is an unmarked door at the back of the building.

The madam of a nationwide Korean prostitution ring headquartered in Federal Way was sentenced to prison on charges of immigration fraud.

Auburn resident Miyoung Roberts, 42, operated the Blue Moon nightclub on Pacific Highway South. On Friday, she was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan’s office.

Between 2009 and 2012, Roberts arranged illegal immigration for more than 24 Korean women who traveled around the United States to work at similar nightclubs. According to the attorney’s office, Roberts had “earned a reputation for being a successful room salon madam.”

Roberts also counseled the women, who served as “bar girls,” on how to avoid detection by immigration authorities. She set up apartments for the women and supervised some of the women’s prostitution activities, according to the attorney’s office.

Roberts had gained U.S. citizenship through a fake marriage, and in an attempt to arrange a fake marriage for someone else, she recruited an undercover agent who was working on the case.

Source: Federal Way Mirror

Report: Human Trafficking Pervasive in Massage Parlors

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on December 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

According to a report published by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and Not In Our Name!, a group made up of massage therapists against sex trafficking, the culture of massage parlors is conducive to sex trafficking in the United States. A recent report by Center Square Journal identified several area massage parlors where sexual favors are allegedly offered by mainly East Asian immigrants.

Check a map of the reviewed massage parlors here.

“Human traffickers are using the massage industry as a cover and a way for sex trade customers to identify and connect with paid sex opportunities, often times with women who have no other choices,” the report stated.

The study, released earlier this year, concludes that one of the driving factors behind sex trafficking is the constant demand for it. “Johns,” those who pay for sexual favors, are driving the industry, the report said.

Source: Center Square Journal

Ex-massage parlor operator gets life for sex trafficking

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on December 2, 2012 at 9:03 am

According to prosecutors, Campbell used emotional and physical abuse to force at least three women from the Ukraine and one from Belarus to work for him without pay. That included sending them to massage parlors in Arlington Heights and Chicago to engage in commercial sex.

Another victim, who testified Monday, said Campbell recruited vulnerable, troubled women to be part of his “family” under the ruse of helping them. She said Campbell often beat, raped and humiliated the victims. In once instance, she said, Campbell tied two women to strip-club poles and beat one of them with a hammer.

“Not very many words can describe what this man does except for evil,” she testified. “He’s pure evil.”

Authorities said Campbell told victims he ran an international organization that could provide the support they desperately needed. He offered them jobs in his massage parlor, a place to live and help with immigration.

Source: Daily Herald

Tampa targets massage parlors that front for prostitution

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on October 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

The city is targeting massage parlors that serve as fronts for prostitution, hoping to dent business by limiting their hours and banning people from living on site.

The measures are the city’s first attempt to control the massage businesses that frequently operate 24 hours a day and that some civil rights groups say keep their all-female staff members in a state of indentured servitude.

“In many cases, the mortgage to their parents’ house is the collateral for their debt” to what often are Asian traffickers, said Terry Coonan, director of Florida State University’s Center for Advancement of Human Rights. “So their debt becomes their family’s debt.”

Source: Tampa Bay Online

Masseuse arrested for soliciting sex with undercover officer

In Awareness, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on September 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Police arrested a Barstow masseuse for allegedly soliciting sex acts with an undercover officer, though detectives have not ruled out that the woman may, herself, be a victim of sex trafficking.

Lixia Wang, 44, was arrested Saturday after allegedly soliciting an officer with the Barstow Police Department Street Enforcement Team who posed as a customer. The team was investigating reports of prostitution at the Asia Massage parlor at 816 East Williams St.

During the investigation police seized a large amount of cash believed to be gains from illegal activity.

Officers are working with the U.S Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to determine Wang’s immigration status. Wang hardly spoke English, though she was cooperative with police, said Sgt. Mike Hunter. She was cite-released that night.

Prostitution arrests in Barstow are rare — even rarer are those tied with businesses, Hunter said.

Wang’s immigration status also makes this a unique situation and police are investigating the possibility she was brought to the U.S. as a sex slave.

Earlier this year several Barstow police officers participated in sex trafficking training organized by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

“There’s a lot of immigrants being brought over here and used in the sex trade,” Hunter said.

Source: Desert Dispatch

Canada Stripping Visas for Foreign Strippers

In Awareness, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm

What’s this debate over Canada’s move to ban foreign strippers, escorts and massage-parlor workers really about? On one side, you have the Adult Entertainment Association, which is upset that the government is stripping away a pool of potential moneymaking workers, whereas on the other side, you have the government, which is saying that cutting back on human trafficking and exploitation is at the heart of the decision.

The Conservative Party government’s Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, announced that starting next month, Canada will no longer renew visas for foreigners working as strippers. Already the government has cut back on how many new visas it grants, down to just 12 in 2011. But it had been continuing to renew previous visas. Not anymore.

Source: TIME

China Vice Busts Human Trafficking Ring

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 30, 2012 at 9:15 am

Like a scene from the Asian version of Miami Vice, China vice cops raided a brothel posing as a beauty parlor in southwest China.

Eleven Vietnamese girls who were abducted and forced into prostitution in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were rescued by the agents, police in Dongxing City, Guangxi, said Saturday.

The majority of trafficking occurs within China’s borders, around 600,000 workers migrate annually overseas, many of whom are recruited by false promises of employment and later coerced into prostitution or forced labor in numerous countries and territories worldwide, according to the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, or UNIAP. Well-organized international criminal syndicates and local gangs play key roles in both internal and cross-border trafficking. High recruitment fees, sometimes amounting to as much as $70,000, compound Chinese migrants’ vulnerability to debt bondage and other situations of trafficking.

 Source: Forbes

SCTNow Ambassador Lobbies for New Ordinance to Prevent Slavery

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

Massage parlors in Oklahoma have been allowed to basically run unsupervised. Its employees were not required to display identification nor did they need to be licensed. As a result, there were reports of prostitution and sex trafficking of underage girls occurring behind its closed doors, and law enforcement lacked the legal grounds needed to control it.

On January 26, 2012, ordinance number 22623 was passed, and on March 1, 2012, it became operational. This law maintains that if an employee is caught facilitating prostitution or working without a license or proper identification he/she will be charged with a misdemeanor, given a fine and his/her license will be revoked.

In addition to the requirement for all licensees to now be fingerprinted, newly stringent standards have been imposed so that license applications can be rejected based on certain criteria. Applicants may be disqualified if they have a criminal record, have had their license previously revoked or suspended within the past three years of their application date, or have had a prior application denied. The newly passed ordinance allows law enforcement to more strictly supervise massage parlors, preventing illegal activities such a sex trafficking and prostitution before they start.

Source: PR Web

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