The signs also mention multiple complaints and inspections against the business, as well as allegations of employing unlicensed therapists and engaging in unprofessional conduct. The emergency suspension stays in place until an administrative hearing in Montgomery on Jan. The board started inspections in May One owner listed. No licensed and employing people who were not licensed to perform massages.
It is not known if there were any arrests in connection. The violations he cited were. Employees not licensed and engaged in activity that is unprofessional Aiding and abetting violations of board statutes Engaging clients in sexual activity. The board is not investigating any other massage parlors in the area. Here is the timeline for the Mei Massage investigation:. Another complaint to the board alleges employees appeared to be living in the establishment and also alleges there is an ad on internet on a website known for prostitution August - Warrant approved for undercover operation to find whether there are violations of state codes and regulations October - Another complaint filed against Mei Massage November 13 - Undercover operation report indicates person sent in was fondled and touched in a sexual manner by Zhixian Zhang, who is not licensed by the state.
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Email: massage eminencemassage. Website: www.Signs of human trafficking at massage parlors
Reserve Appointment Memberships Gift Certificates. Text Toggle navigation call 1 - Text This week court hearings have been held in the civil case.
But there are still many questions — like why no criminal charges have been filed in the matter. Yuping and Jaio are accused of using the massage businesses as a front for a human trafficking operation. Marshall says Chinese employees were forced to work long hours, and some were expected to engage in sex acts with customers.
Massage parlors investigated over illegal ‘sexual services’ in Madison, Morgan counties
The court-appointed a receiver was to take control of the businesses until a preliminary injunction hearing could be held. An attorney representing Jaio filed a motion to remove the receiver, Jeffrey Schneider, a Florida-based attorney. Schneider took the stand. He admitted taking money out of the wallet of an employee. The business is currently not operating. Defense attorneys said at that rate, the assets would be depleted in 10 months.
It is unclear who pays that bill. Schnider says in his 25 years of experience, the amount of cash seized and the length of time it has taken to have a hearing for the preliminary injunction is unique.
He says the preliminary injunction generally takes place ten days after assets are secured. At that time who owns which assets can be determined. Marshall said the civil action was important to keep the suspects from moving and hiding victims, as well as to stop them from disposing of or transferring assets. Wednesday Jaio was called to the stand. During a round of questioning, she revealed her mother is in China and has been in China since February.
Jaio also explained that a home was bought for employees who work at the massage parlors. Prosecutors used bank records to show the home was paid for in cash. Jaio said two employees and friends of her mother loaned her family cash so they could pay for the house. Attorneys for Jaio asked a Huntsville man who owns a chiropractic clinic to provide testimony. He said during that time he got massages at the three Huntsville locations.
He said employees never approached him to take inappropriate actions and he never experienced sexual touching on the premises. He also said there is a sign asking all clients to keep their undergarments on during the massage.A legal notice on the door of a shuttered massage parlor in North Alabama. Two massage parlors have been shut down this month in Baldwin County following prostitution-related arrests and business license revocation rulings before the city councils in Foley and Daphne.
The arrests occurred on Sept. The Foley City Council voted unanimously on Oct. The owner of both businesses was year-old Sheng Yun Zhou, who faces two counts of felony promoting prostitution.
Also arrested were year-old Xiu Xiang Zhang, 52; Ying Shenyang, 50; on charges of misdemeanor prostitution for engaging in alleged illegal sex acts at Ocean Massage.
In Daphne, therapist Wei Tong was arrested for prostitution. Court records show that Zhou, who was arrested in her vehicle outside Tranquility Massage in Daphne. Kraft was arrested as part of an illicit massage parlor sting in Florida earlier this year. He compared the massage parlor businesses to hair salons where employees are compensated with tips. A majority of the council believed that Zhou, as the business owner, was responsible for the illegal actions of her employees.
The only council member voting against the license revocation was Council President Pat Rudicell, who could not be reached for comment. Other council members pushed for immediate action against the business.
They are responsible for their agents and employees. The incidences in Foley and Daphne come as high-profile raids of sex spas are taking place across the country, including in Alabama. Publicity about the cases have been heightened in the past year following raids in Florida that led to the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraftwho police have said was caught on video paying for sex acts, and John Havens, the former president and CEO of Citigroup.
In April, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a temporary restraining order against a chain of four North Alabama massage parlors, and pushed to seize property and money.
The case has since moved on to the Alabama Supreme Court, which recently reinstated the temporary restraining order. The case is still ongoing. Raising awareness.
The rash of shutdowns this years also raises awareness of human trafficking enterprises linked to massage parlors. In the Daphne arrest, Police Sgt.
Four Massage Parlors in Alabama Shut Down from Human Trafficking, Officials Say
The Daphne massage parlor was located within a strip mall that is anchored by a Publix grocery store and medical offices near a highly-traveled stretch of U. How to spot an illicit massage parlor. There are warning signs of illicit massage parlors, among the leading sources of human trafficking. According to Polaris, a nonprofit group that operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline, an estimated 9,plus of illicit massage parlors are operating in the U.
The businesses, according to Polaris, typically go through a process of registering their businesses as if they were legitimate. The businesses typically dot the sides of highways and are tucked into suburban strip malls or are located next to fast food restaurants and dollar stores throughout America. Polaris claims that victims of massage parlor trafficking in the U.
Force is rarely an element of massage parlor trafficking. Victims, according to Polaris, are controlled by traffickers through a complex mixture of cultural manipulation, fraud and coercion.
Illicit massage parlors have been present for decades in the U. Some examples include:. Neither woman had licenses to perform massages.The shutdowns raises awareness of human trafficking enterprises — especially those linked to massage parlors. According to PolarProject. There are warning signs, however. Potential customers should be on the lookout for:. Alabama law prohibits massage parlors from being used as a dormitory or place of sleep or providing massages behind locked doors.
Anyone giving a massage is also required to be clothed from the shoulder to the knees and no massages are allowed in sexually oriented businesses. According to Polaris, illicit massage, health and beauty businesses often appear to be single storefronts but are typically controlled as part of a larger network. There are as many as 7, storefront illicit businesses operating as massage parlors in the U. Victims in another segment are typically younger females, mid 20s and older, from Southeast Asia.
The workers are often recruited through fraudulent ads that misrepresent pay and hide the sexual nature of their jobs, the experts said. Once at the establishment, they work excessive hours and are paid less than minimum wage, if anything at all. Many of the workers report being threatened with arrest or deportation.
There were more than 5, human trafficking cases reported inaccording to Polaris. Thirty-six reports were made in Alabama.
If you suspect any illicit activity at a massage business, call the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy at You can report suspected human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
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All rights reserved About Us. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Ad Choices. By Leada Gore lgore al.They're near coffee shops, laundromats, even schools. Many San Diego Massage parlors are offering services far beyond just a massage.
And NBC 7 Investigates found a public website describing in graphic terms what is supposedly happening inside these locations. Searching the website, NBC 7 Investigates found parlors listed in San Diego County and, according to the reviews on the website, of those parlors offer sex services for a price. In the event we become aware of any incident of trafficking, we take swift internal action and cooperate enthusiastically with state and federal law enforcement officials.
NBC 7 Investigates is providing the general location of the parlors, according to the RubMaps website, but is not releasing specific details on each parlor. Using ArcGis mapping softwareNBC 7 Investigates found 16 of the parlors that are allegedly offering sex services for sale are within 1, feet of a public school.
To see the map, look below or click here. Advocates for the women in these kinds of places say many are too afraid to ask for help, like year-old Yalin Shao from Taiwan. But what she found was the job consisted of working for tips in exchange for sex. Advocates for victims of sex trafficking say from the moment victims respond to advertisements like the one Shao read, the organizations behind recruiting these victims will often use fraud, force, and coercion to keep them working in the massage parlors.
Polaris is a national organization formed with a goal of disrupting human sex trafficking. Yalin Shao said she used to work for a massage parlor in San Diego and provided outcall services to hotels across Southern California. The non-profit organization was then able to get Shao out of the criminal justice system and into a shelter and therapy program.
I want to be successful. Shao has since returned home to Taiwan but warns the industry she left behind is still operating here in San Diego and the United States. Pritzker owns eight massage parlors in San Diego County and says they operate legally, with no sex services being offered.
Pritzker is vocal about the need for people to recognize that many of the women in this industry are victims, not prostitutes.
Even their money. Polaris found often times, the women working for these parlors end up living in the building where the business is run out of.The therapist issues a receipt and you submit it to your insurance company directly.
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