Officers say several parlor owners and johns face charges
Kent police reportedly shut down 18 massage parlors in the city Friday morning they say served as fronts for prostitution.
In addition to serving the businesses with notices of their closure, they plan to refer owners, employees and johns for criminal charges and also may operate a sting to further deter johns from using the parlors.
So far, police referred 76 criminal charges to municipal prosecutors and arrested four people.
Kent Police Commander Rob Scholl claimed in a Friday press statement that south King County has seen an increase in these businesses.
“It is no secret to individuals willing to pay for sex that unlicensed massage parlors are a place they can go for this activity,” he said.
In addition to peddling prostitution, the Kent Police Department said, the businesses also violate state licensing requirements by using unlicensed workers, failing to follow health regulations and not properly posting licenses.