Four women have been arrested on grounds of alleged prostitution at various massage parlors in the Waukesha area.
The women have not yet been charged, as of Thursday, Dec. 15. As far as the potential for arrests of clients, Waukesha Police Sgt. Jerry Habanek said there were people getting legitimate massages but also people who involved in nefarious acts.
Habanek said police are currently concerned with closing these businesses down to protect the community.
According to a press release issued this week, the Waukesha Police Department has conducted an extensive investigation into criminal behavior occurring inside several local massage businesses.
The investigation involved Sweet Thai Massage, 127 W. Sunset Drive; Far East Healing Spa, 1405 Summit Ave.; Lilac Massage, 2442 N. Grandview Blvd., and a residence in the 500 block North Moreland Boulevard. Information was provided to police anonymously through Crime Stoppers of Waukesha County. Tips included information regarding prostitution.
"Human trafficking was alleged but not proven.The people were there knowingly," Habanek said.
Habanek said the investigation is ongoing, but a language barrier with some of those involved was delaying the process. Many of the individuals speak Mandarin and interpreters are being used to help with the investigation.
According to the press release, an investigation verified some of the information from these complaints, and that led to search warrants being issued for the three businesses and one related residence last week.
According to one search warrant filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court, law enforcement was advised in June of alleged illegal activity at several massage parlors in Waukesha. An undercover detective used the classified ads website Backpage.com to find massage parlors in the area. The website had ads with phrases such as "new beautiful young girls waiting for you."
According to the search warrant documents, another website, in which users could rate their experiences with massage parlors and prostitutes, was also monitored. There, the detective found user comments about a massage parlor in Waukesha. One user stated he was sexually gratified by the masseuse. Another user allegedly said he "received a Happy Ending from a masseuse."
The detective found reviews on different websites where customers stated they were asked by the masseuse to masturbate themselves while the masseuse continued with the massage.
Surveillance was done at a massage parlor and masseuses were observed being transported to another massage parlor.
Given that information, a detective went undercover on Nov. 17 at one of the local massage parlors.
According to information contained in the search warrant, he obtained a one-hour massage and was fully nude during the session and he was allowed to touch and rub the masseuse's buttocks. She allegedly also showed her breasts to the detective and asked if the detective wanted oil. The masseuse poured oil on his genitals and said it was "self-service."
On Nov. 30, the detective visited another massage parlor in Waukesha where he also received a one-hour massage. The documents said the masseuse allowed the detective to rub her buttocks inside her shorts and offered him the "self-service" option. The woman showed her breasts for an additional $5.
On Dec. 1, the detective visited the same parlor, where he again received a one-hour massage from the same masseuse. The detective paid $60 for the massage but then placed an additional $60 on the table in in the room.Throughout the massage, the masseuse allowed him to touch her breasts, buttocks and vagina through her clothing. At the end of the session, she offered the detective the self-service option where she placed oil on his genitals.
The detective attempted to rub her breast but she moved away. The detective pointed to the $60 on the table and she then allowed him to rub and kiss her breasts and vagina.
The search warrant states from Dec. 2-8, the detective went to the several parlors in the area for a massage. The detective pointed out the large tip he left and asked for each masseuse to give him assisted sexual gratification, which they eventually did. In a few instances, a second masseuse was present.
As part of the investigation, a female undercover officer entered one of the parlors on Dec. 7 and received a 45-minute massage. The documents said the undercover officer was covered with a towel the entire time and didn't expose any part of her body.
The detective obtained phone numbers of two of the masseuses and used a translation app to communicate through messages. Both women told the detective they are from out of state and work 13 hours a day, seven days a week. The documents said the women admitted to not having many friends, no car and were unable to do normal activities.
As to what charges may be filed, there were no specifics. Police charges against the four women may be filed at a later date.