Crime

6 Treasure Valley massage parlors accused of prostitution; police arrest several women

The difference between prostitution and sex trafficking

According to experts, it's important to understand the differences between prostitution, which is voluntary, and sex trafficking, which can trap victims with involuntary sex work.
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According to experts, it's important to understand the differences between prostitution, which is voluntary, and sex trafficking, which can trap victims with involuntary sex work.

Nampa and Caldwell police served search warrants Wednesday at six massage parlors they believed were the location of prostitution activity, and several women were arrested.

Police did not arrest any customers or people potentially paying the women for sex acts; authorities said none of the women were minors.

“It was kind of a joint thing (between departments),” Caldwell Police Capt. Devin Riley told the Statesman. “It was definitely something we’ve been working on for a while.”

The businesses in Nampa were Mia’s Massage, at 624 16th Ave. S.; Asian Massage, at 1115 12th Ave. S.; Swan Massage, at 207 11th Ave. N.; and Golden Massage, at 1407 3rd St. S. The Caldwell businesses were Sunny Massage, at 6115 Cleveland Blvd. Suite 102, and Good Day Massage, at 2003 Blaine St., Riley said.

The Idaho Statesman has declined to release the names of the women arrested until further information is available regarding the circumstances around the prostitution charges.

According to news releases from both departments, police had received information that the massage parlors were offering sex acts in exchange for money during massages.

“An investigation was initiated earlier this year which confirmed the information we had received,” according to Nampa PD.

Nampa Officer Gary Marang said there was no evidence that the women arrested were victims of trafficking or coercion. Marang said the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment on whether the massage parlors were connected or whether there was a ringleader in the prostitution cases.

Marang said the investigation there began on Feb. 13 when a man notified police that he went to one of the establishments and was offered services that were “beyond the scope of a typical massage.”

At least one of the women arrested in Nampa is a licensed massage therapist with the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses.

The Statesman filed records requests Thursday with the city of Nampa for copies of the massage parlors’ business licenses and any permits issued by the city. It also filed a request for copies of the Nampa police investigation, which was denied. An immediate response from the city was not received Thursday on the licenses and permits.

Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.
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