INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis City Prosecutor's office obtained restraining orders Friday against three west side massage parlors accused of facilitating prostitution.
On Wednesday, IMPD detectives with the Nuisance Abatement Unit executed search warrants on three unlicensed massage parlors:
Four female employees of the spas were arrested on preliminary charges of prostitution as a result of the investigation.
Police returned to the Tranquil Spa on Friday, less than 48 hours after officers had arrested an employee on charges of prostitution, to find that not only had the massage parlor reopened, but that the woman arrested for prostitution had returned to work.
Daniel Grundy owns a barbershop near Spiritual Spa on the 5500 block of West 10th Street. He said he feels powerless to do anything about the situation with his neighbors.
"It's not something I condone," Grundy said. "But I didn't feel like I had any power to do anything about it."
Online, at least one website lists 29 Indianapolis-area massage parlors that entice customers with ads offering massages from scantily clad, if not nude, masseuses. Some even advertise the size of their breasts as a way to lure business.
"Obviously, the intent is not to get a massage if the size of someone's breast would determine which massage parlor you're going to," said Sgt. Bill Carter, who works with IMPD's Nuisance Abatement Unit.
Police said all of the busted massage parlors share a common trait: none have licenses and none have the required zoning and variances needed to be in business. So metro police have adopted the tactic of pursuing these establishments not just criminally, but civilly as well.
"We can arrest people all day long. But if we're not taking away the means for them to perform the prostitution or sexual acts, then we're not really accomplishing anything," Carter said.
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