Florida Massage Parlors Raided After Prostitution Investigation
Many businesses operate under the guise of massage parlors, only to be housing prostitutes for commercial sex acts. This has been the case in Santa Rosa County, where deputies went undercover in a prostitution investigation and were offered sex in exchange for money.
On October 22, police executed search warrants at four businesses, including China Wellness Center and Navarre Oriental in Navarre, and Gulf Breeze Massage and True Massage & Spa, both located in Gulf Breeze. So far, one person has been arrested—a 37-year-old woman from Gulf Breeze. She claimed to be a masseur at True Massage & Spa but did not have a license. She was charged with practicing massage without a license and misrepresentation as a masseur. She was booked into Santa Rosa County Jail with a $1,500 bond and released the next day.
The prostitution investigation began after a person called the sheriff’s office and offered a tip.
The person allegedly overheard some people talking about a massage parlor that will provide additional services if you pay extra. The deputies wore wires as they went undercover to confirm that information at the four massage parlors. They were offered sexual services. The deputies made sure there was no solicitation on their part, as that would be considered entrapment.
The public should expect more arrest warrants related to prostitution charges.
Massage Parlors and Prostitution
In the United States, massage parlors have been associated with prostitution for hundreds of years. It is estimated that there are 9,000 of these businesses in the country, with Chinese women comprising most of the staff. The services at these massage parlors can range from “hand jobs” to oral sex to full-on sexual intercourse.
However, not all massage parlors involve services of a sexual nature. It is possible for an individual to own, operate, or work in a massage parlor that is properly licensed. However, massage parlors are often targeted for being involved in illegal activities, including prostitution and pimping. Some even involve human trafficking, which is a serious crime.
Therefore, when investigating massage parlors, law enforcement officials will look into the activities of the business. Besides determining if the business is involved in prostitution, they may look at financial issues. Therefore, a business owner could be charged with offenses such as money laundering or tax evasion. They could also face penalties for labor code and licensing violations.
Contact a Legal Professional for Help
Prostitution is a common crime that can be accomplished in person or online. While a first offense is a misdemeanor, any subsequent offenses can be charged as felonies.
Need a solid defense? The two most common defenses are consensual sex without the exchange of money and entrapment by police. Do either of these apply in your case? Let Florida computer crime lawyer Gilbert A. Schaffnit assess your case. He is highly knowledgeable in this area. Schedule a free consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (352) 505-1799.