On January 30, 2019, a 52-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly promoting prostitution at Asian Massage in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. She was arrested on the site of the business.
Her arrest comes after multiple allegations of prostitution and a two-month undercover investigation by several government agencies. According to ABC27, the woman was arrested after investigators from the Departments of State Bureau of Enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg uniformly executed a search warrant. Authorities stated that evidence related to prostitution was discovered upon searching Asian Massage.
Court documents show that the woman was charged with one count of promoting prostitution by owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping a prostitution business (a felony of the third degree) and one count of promoting prostitution by engaging in sexual activity as a business (a misdemeanor of the third degree).
According to Fox43,the investigation is still ongoing and the police anticipate making additional arrests in the future. The business was effectively shut down last week.
The CSE Institute is awaiting more information from this recent interagency investigation. At this time, it is unknown whether the woman was a victim of trafficking herself or working within a broader network of traffickers, which is why we’ve chosen not to publish her name. According to Polaris, a national anti-trafficking organization, trafficking in illicit massage parlors is the second most prevalent type of trafficking, only second to trafficking in escort services. Illicit massage parlors generate nearly $2.5 billion of revenue annually. They often hide in plain sight, dotted along our highways and cornered within our strip malls. The CSE Instituteadvocates for civil laws to end trafficking in illicit massage parlors, which very few cities or states have or enforce. Taking legislative action is necessary.
We will continue to update as more information is made available.
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.