Allure of easy money drew woman into sex trade

SPOKANE, Wash. - A woman who claimed to have worked at three of the spas that were raided Tuesday said the lucrative amounts of cash she could earn drew her in to the sex trade.

Mary, who didn't want to reveal her real name, said she worked at three different spas -- Joe Jeans, Oriental Spa South and Oriental Spa -- on and off for the last two years. Many clients who visited the spas would ask for sexual favors and, even though they weren't supposed to perform any of these acts, many women did, including Mary.

On one occasion, performing sexual favors got Mary fired from the spa she was working at.

"You weren't supposed to do that, but knowing you would get extra money for that, if a guy said 'Hey I will give you a hundred bucks for a [sex act],' I don't know too many people who would turn that down," she said.

The owners of the spas she worked at didn't approve of their employees performing sex acts, but probably didn't know the extent to which it was actually going on.


"They probably knew something, but I don't think they knew as far as it went. Like I said, we weren't supposed to be doing that," she said.

While she was asked to perform sexual favors, Mary said she never had sex with any of her clients. The reason why she bucked the rules was simple: Money. This single mother said it was the allure of that cash that drew her to work at the spas.

"On a good week probably at least a grand," Mary said, discussing how much money she would make in tips.

"Now you can go out to eat and buy your kids the toys they wanted. You don't have to just shop at Wal-Mart," she added.

The former spa worker said she had a mixed clientele that included men, women and couples who ranged in age from their 20s to their 80s. They would come into the spa, pay a door fee, pick the woman they wanted to spend time with and then get in the shower, sauna or jetted tub.

Mary says she never got in with them but afterward, would give them a rub down. About 70-percent of the time her clients would ask for sexual favors, she said.

"It's obviously illegal because it's against the law, plain and simple. But I think there are bigger things out there that the law should worry about," she said.

Mary said that while the majority of her clients asked for sexual favors, many of the just wanted her companionship.

"A lot of them were lonely and would just want to come in and have conversations with you," she said. "They didn't want you to get naked or anything like that, of course they liked that you looked pretty."

In the end, Mary said that if anyone should be punished, it should be the girls, including herself.

"They treated it like it was supposed to be a real job. The girls, we made it more," she said.