Two "massage and spa" businesses are closed after Bonner Springs police posed as clients looking for an erotic variation on a massage.
The first raid was Tuesday at CC Spa, located at 136 N. 130th St., near Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 7.
"We were definitely concerned that this was not something that was reflecting the moral character of our community here," said Tom Drake, a dentist whose office is in the same strip of businesses.
Drake, whose office has been at that address for 18 years, thought it odd when the spa moved in four months ago. His staff members pointed out suspicious signs.
"It was only Missouri cars that were stopping there," Drake explained, "and it was only men that were getting out and going in."
They searched for CC Spa online and saw things that seemed to confirm their suspicions. The business appears on websites such as EroticMP.com, AdultSearch.com and ECCIE.net, which stands for the Escort Client Community Information Exchange.
To make matters worse, Drake's staff said they saw the women arrive en masse, dropped off, with no transportation of their own.
"It seemed like they were being kept rather than independent businesswomen," Drake said. "I am very concerned that one of the great human tragedies that's getting worse and worse is human trafficking."
Police said they are investigating whether anyone coerced or deceived the Mandarin-speaking women.
"We have translators now interviewing the ladies we arrested," Bonner Springs police Lt. Rick Schubert said. "We are going to be working with federal agencies to see if that is happening."
Schubert said the arrests came from two Bonner Springs spas, CC Spa and another one at 13027 Kansas Ave., both owned by 48-year-old Chen Li. He said this is the first time Bonner Springs authorities have investigated something of this nature and the process of doing so was an eye-opener.
"The research we did led up to many cities. There are similar massage businesses in Eudora, Gardner, Lawrence," Schubert said. "Locally here, we found that many. That was a surprise to us."
Human trafficking would be a federal offense and would come with serious penalties. What the arrestees are facing at this point is relatively minor.
Gui H. Xiao, age 42, Hong Jia Liao, 50, Angela Chen, 57, have been charged with prostitution and massage without a license, both city misdemeanors. Their bonds are $700 each.
Li was charged with promoting prostitution, running a business without a business license and failing to keep a registry of clients, also city misdemeanors. Because the crimes are city offenses, the charges come directly from police.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:44:29 GMT
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