According to Action News 6ABC, two women were arrested in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on Thursday, March 21, for allegations involving prostitution.
Kobe Wellness Spa in Bryn Mawr was long rumored to be an illicit massage parlor – with Yellowpages.com reviewers even posting about the sexual services they received as patrons of the business. Despite its nondescript look, many community members had suspected that illegal activity had been taking place at Kobe and tipped off the police. The spa is just under two miles away from Villanova Law.
On the night of March 21, two undercover officers from the Pennsylvania State and Lower Merion Police Departments went into Kobe Wellness Spa and both were reportedly offered sex. State police gave Action News 6ABC the names of the two suspects, but the local broadcaster did not reveal the suspects identities, because detectives believe the suspects might be victims of sex trafficking.
The CSE Institute commends the media outlet, Action News 6ABC, which broke the story of this raid and chose not to post the identities of the women arrested for alleged prostitution. According to Polaris, an important measure in ending massage-parlor-trafficking is not publicizing the names of women arrested for “prostitution.” Instead, Polaris has encouraged advocates, to “call out the press for exposing victims” by writing letters to editors or highlighting bad reporting on social media using the hashtag #massageparlortrafficking.
The CSE Institute consistently encourages media to be mindful of reporting on allegations of prostitution to not include the publishing of any identifying information of those charged as this leads to further stigmatizing victims of commercial sexual exploitation. With their broad platform and wide-reaching capabilities, we encourage all members of the media to join the fight against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or Villanova University.