In the Bennington raids, police seized computers, cellphones, business records and several thousand dollars in cash but made no arrests and filed no criminal charges.
Rowland said police are now processing all the evidence. While such establishments regularly escape police scrutiny, Rubmaps. Two of those have had connections to Everitt, of Bennington-bust fame. Last week, I went to see whether Rubmaps users were talking shit or telling it like it was.
It was just assumed that my massage would close with the proverbial happy ending, like a fortune cookie at the end of the meal. The working conditions I witnessed, or which female employees described to me, were consistent with what law-enforcement officers say characterize businesses engaged in forced prostitution. In fact, many of the red flags for sex trafficking outlined in the Bennington police affidavits were also evident at three Chittenden County establishments: no apparent cash registers or documentation of transactions; all-male clientele; an abundant use of surveillance cameras, locked doors and buzzers to screen customers; windows covered with bars, boards or curtains.
The workers were all Asian women who claimed to work seven days a week and live on the premises. To find evidence of prostitution, all I did was walk in the door at each place and ask for a massage.
At Battery Street in Burlington, River Spa seems out of place in the historic waterfront neighborhood it shares with an art gallery, marketing agency, architectural firm, hair salon and law offices. The next door was locked.
According to Rubmaps, many Asian massage parlors offer table showers, where the women lather clients up, rinse them down and towel them dry. I declined. I followed her through the dimly lit spa, which had zero natural lighting, into a large, carpeted room with a swinging half-door.
In the room were white robes, fresh towels, tea candles burning on end tables — even a poster of the human skeletal-muscular system. But no cash register or computer.
Classical guitar music was playing softly. Suzy was a short, stocky woman who looked to be around When I handed her the cash, she left the room briefly, then returned and told me to undress and get on the table face down. When I asked for a receipt, she smiled and shook her head. Then she covered me with a towel from my waist down and began working my neck and shoulders.
She then climbed on the table, positioned her knees against my inner thighs, nudged my legs wide open and began massaging my lower ass. I was startled but not surprised. She then grabbed a hot towel, wiped my front clean, then helped me dress, kneeling to put on my socks and shoes.
On the way out, Suzy offered me hard candies from a bowl. I hurried out of the dark and claustrophobic space, which felt more like a prison — or a tomb. The place shut down after November 6,when John Green, a year-old homeless janitor, tried to force a female masseuse to give him a blow job. When she refused, he allegedly slapped her around, grabbed her by the throat and tried to force her mouth open.
Burlington police responded to the assault. Donovan raised concerns that the victim, a Korean national, may have been a human trafficking victim who was forced into prostitution, a claim Everitt later denied. Green later confessed to paying for sex there, but Donovan had to dismiss the case because past spa employees either refused to cooperate or simply vanished. Green later confessed to an unrelated aggravated-assault charge.
My next stop.
Pizza, it has a large, blue that depicts a palm tree, beach and full moon. The place has three entrances. A Rubmaps user recommended the covered stairwell off the rear parking lot. I headed upstairs one weekday afternoon, as couples sat outside eating slices and creemees, and backpack-laden kids cut across the parking lot on the way home from school. She hugged me, removed my shoes, handed me slippers and led me inside.
When I declined her shower offer, she told me to get undressed. Since there was no towel or sheet in the room, I donned a thin cotton robe and lay face down.
When Rose returned, she giggled and removed it, then slapped my butt and complimented me on my body. I would have guessed much older. Owners of the Bennington spas have known ties to Flushing.
In fact, four of the seven reviews for Seiwa mention Rose and her happy endings. One comes in maybe once or twice a year, she noted, but they never return. She said I could come back and see her anytime, as she works seven days a week, a. With seven minutes left in the hour, Rose told me to flip over, then immediately gripped my penis and began to rub it. She apologized profusely. She relaxed a bit but seemed chastened and unsure what to do next except help me dress. She nodded. Only later did I learn from anti-trafficking experts that many women in Asian massage parlors only get paid in gratuities.
I have no way to confirm whether anything Rose said is true. For all I know, she receives a livable wage, with full health benefits and four weeks paid vacation. In all, eight women were taken into custody, including three who admitted to performing sex for money.
All were briefly detained, then released and ordered to appear in immigration court in Boston. None ever showed up. There are more than brothels in the U. According to the Polaris Project, they operate pretty much the same way everywhere.
Clients are expected to bring additional cash for the women, but the tips can be varied and unpredictable. In many cases, the women have been smuggled into the United States illegally and are forced to repay the cost of their passage by working as prostitutes. Once here, the women, who are predominantly Asian, are expected to work from 10 a. Surveillance cameras are used not only to keep an eye on the customers but also on the women, to prevent them from fleeing.
However, relative to other sex trafficking networks, it is less frequently used as a method of control. After police raided the Bennington spas last month, none of the workers accepted their safe-haven offers. Neither Duffy nor other police officers contacted for this story seemed aware of the existence of Rubmaps or its contents. Of the three spas Vermont police raided inundocumented sex workers were found in only two.
One was Tokyo Health Spa, which is now closed.
The other was Harmony Health Spa in Williston. That was my next and last stop. Out front, a huge roide displays the hours of operation as well as a red digital clock that tells the time.
On the day I visited, the only car outside was a white Lexus with Florida plates. Inside the front vestibule, an older Asian woman unlocked an inner door and waved me inside.
I forked over the cash, and she briefly left the room. I undressed and laid face down on the table.
Candy drew the half-curtain in the doorway closed, dimmed the lights further, then got down to business. She was very friendly and talkative, originally from a town outside of Seoul, South Korea. I asked if she was more a city girl or country girl.
She sat on my ass, stretched my legs in all directions and deliberately pressed her breasts against my head several times. She also claimed to live on site. As I lay on my stomach with my arms draped over the sides of the table, Candy lifted my hands and planted them firmly on her thighs. Next, she asked if I wanted to see her breasts. When I smiled but said nothing, she removed her top and bra, then pulled down her pants.
I turned her down. When I mentioned the Bennington spa raids, Booska said he was aware of the human trafficking allegations there but insisted nothing of the sort was happening at Harmony. How could he be so sure? He agreed to talk to Seven Days on the condition his real name not be used in this story. Adam said his masseuse kept him covered under a blanket while she walked on his back. Then, toward the end of the massage, she tickled his legs and belly lightly.
She just went to town.
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