Analysis Finds 55 Massage Parlors Within 1,000 Feet of Schools in Dallas County

Massage parlors offering customers sex aren't just hidden away in the seedy parts of Texas cities. They can be found in middle-class neighborhoods just down the street from public schools, too. That's according to a new analysis by the nonprofit Children At Risk, which identified 689 suspected illegal businesses, 97 of them in Dallas County. And 55 of these parlors are within 1,000 feet of Texas public schools. "We want people to be shocked at how close this is to them and how close it is to their children," said Robert Sanborn, president and CEO of Children At Risk, a children's advocacy group. "People think that there are massage parlors in bad parts of town and that there's illegal sex trafficking in bad parts of town, but what we want people to see is that these are in nice neighborhoods." According to the analysis released on Tuesday, large clusters of spas or massage parlors were listed on a website as being in suburban areas including Richardson, Plano and Arlington,Businesses calling themselves massage parlors or reflexology businesses are close to Prairie Creek Elementary in Richardson ISD; Austin Elementary in Coppell ISD; and Tom W. Field Elementary in Dallas ISD, according to the group's analysis.The Houston-based advocacy group mapped the businesses across the state using listings from the website, which includes sexually explicit reviews and graphic details of sex acts that are offered at some businesses. And a sampling of many found that they didn't have a state license to offer massage services.Children At Risk officials say undercover police often raid such establishments. But it's usually the women -- who are often Asian or Latina -- who ended up getting arrested and not the men running the illicit businesses."These girls are victims, a lot of them are essentially hostages," said James "Jamey" Caruthers, an attorney for Children At Risk. "They are in debt bondage or are afraid. There are language barriers or cultural barriers, so they don't understand the American system of justice. They will never testify against the owners."   Continue reading...

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