5 arrested in prostitution sting conducted at Lubbock massage parlors
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Five women were arrested on Wednesday, charged in a prostitution sting operation conducted at six Lubbock massage parlors.
Police say the operation, conducted by LPD’s Special Operations Division, took place Nov. 4 through 9.
Five women were arrested and charged with prostitution, including employees and owners:
• Yufen, Jin, 44 years old – A&B Massage 7302 82nd
• Xiang,Yi Jun, 54 years old – J massage 5903 82nd
• Meifang, Hong 58 years old – Spring Spa 4114 Ave Q
• Hao, Xiaohong, 57 years old – New Massage 2229 34th St
• Meihua, Tu, 65 years old – Spring Spa 4114 Ave Q
These arrests come on the heels of the new Texas prostitution law which went into effect on September 1, 2021, which turned the crime of soliciting prostitution from a Class B Misdemeanor to a State Jail Felony, which carries up to two years in state jail and a fine up to $10,000.
Lieutenant Leath McClure says agents targeted the “madams” in charge of the suspected prostitution operations.
“And a lot of these massage parlors, whether they be the employees the bosses or even the owners that know about what’s going on in these businesses and allow these women to work in these conditions, that’s the people that we’re going after. That’s the people that we’re trying to, to get off the streets so we can protect these women that work in these establishments,” McClure said.
McClure says recent legislation gives the department more power to go after these individuals with tougher penalties.
“Of course, notices are sent to these owners that hey, this is going on at your establishment. This is the first, second, however many times we’ve been here. And so our objective is just to shut those businesses down completely,” McClure said.
He says to call this a victimless crime is an understatement.
“It’s definitely not a victimless crime. The victim is these women that are trapped in these prostitution rings or sex trafficking rings that have no one to look out for them and no one to offer them any sort of help,” McClure said.
McClure says the public has been a tremendous help in reporting when something doesn’t seem right and he wants that to continue. He says here’s what you should expect when you enter one of these businesses.
“At most of your legit establishments when you walk in they’ll have their license clearly printed on the front door. They’ll have a form you fill out that says you know, what areas you would prefer not to be touched, what kind of massage you’re looking for, when was the last time you’ve gotten a massage. And they keep all those records for a certain number of years,” McClure said.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is also cracking down on human trafficking. Starting January 1, all cosmetology businesses including salons and massage parlors are required by Texas law to display a sign with information about available services and assistance to victims of human trafficking, including information on how to report suspicious activity to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
You can use this sign created by TDLR:
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