SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash -
Detectives from the Washington State Patrol are investigating a Spokane Valley massage parlor, suspected of illegally promoting prostitution.
Monday, WSP filed an application to search Space Oil Massage on East Indiana, looking for evidence of the crimes of Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree, Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree, Human Trafficking, Practice Without License and Money Laundering.
According to the document, the investigation began with a tip to the Department of Homeland Security in January. The tipster pointed investigators to Space Oil Massage and Crystal Sea Massage, which were apparently linked together. A WSP detectives conducted surveillance at Crystal Sea Massage and saw three Asian females exit the same unit behind the massage parlor. According to the detective, “two of the females were dressed exactly the same with a grey fur coat and no pants,” despite the temperature outside being 24 degrees.
In total, he watched five Asian women enter and exit the massage parlor; only one of them was wearing pants. They eventually loaded up a Mercedes SUV and drove it to a warehouse on Indiana.
Space Oil Massage opened at that location one month later.
Court documents say several other people made complaints about the business to the FBI and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, warning of prostitution and sex trafficking at both locations.
In April, anonymous reports were made to the FBI that said a woman working there told them she was “being forced to perform sex acts and wanted him to tell the authorities.” She used a translator app on her phone to tell the client she was being forced to work as a prostitute.
Three days later, another man reported to the FBI that found an ad on Backpage.com that directed him to Space Oil massage. He said a woman there approached him and said, “for sex, it will be more money.” She also told the man the owners of the shop were forcing the women to prostitute themselves for money.
Court records say an undercover operation was done at two massage parlors in June, including one at Space Oil Massage. An undercover agent says he was approached by an Asian woman who asked if he wanted a massage. He was led to a room where he described seeing a sign that indicated no sexual conversation was allowed.
Once he was lying on the massage table, the undercover agent said the woman massaged him and even “climbed on the table and straddled the bac of his head as she massaged his upper back.” He said she brushed her hands across his genitals several times and also “pushed her pelvic area into [the agent’s] hands.”
Later in the massage, the agent said the woman indicated she would give oral sex; the agent declined and said he would come back later. He said she grabbed his genitals several more times before the massage was over.
The search warrant seeks to find evidence of human trafficking or promoting prostitution by seizing computers, bills and envelopes and any recordings done of the facility. Investigators also seek prostitution ledgers, referred in the search warrant application as “trick books” and any documents identifying “possible victims, offenders and customers.”
The Washington State Patrol said Monday this is an active investigation and no one has been arrested or charged.
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