A dozen massage parlors in Brooklyn were shut down Thursday, accused of running prostitution operations. Jonathan Vigliotti reports. (Published Thursday, Jul 11, 2013)
Authorities say 19 people have been arrested in a prostitution crackdown on a dozen Brooklyn massage parlors.
The office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes says the massage parlors and day spas advertised sex services on websites like Craigslist.
"You'd see a guy skulking around out here, waiting for nobody to be watching, and then they'd ring a bell and run in," said one resident.
"When the curtains are drawn and there's only one little light, you know what it is," said another neighbor.
Complaints from residents prompted the yearlong undercover operation in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.
"We know people in Bay Ridge have back pain, but we don't think it's enough to sustain 19 massage parlors," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in a news conference Wednesday.
Kelly said 19 massage parlors were investigated, and 12 turned out to be prostitution rings. Search warrants were executed and arrests were made on Wednesday.
In all, 19 people were arrested, three of whom were owners. The others were female employees between the ages of 20 and 40.
Stop work orders were issued at four massage parlors, along with 50 health and safety code violations among the others. Police are also investigating whether human trafficking was involved.
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