Illegal massage parlor busted in Lake Geneva
LAKE GENEVA It was what residents spotted and then reported to the Lake Geneva Police Department last month that tipped off officers to an illegal massage parlor in the city, a police detective says.
The complaints—some anonymous—included women's underwear hanging out to dry on the shrubbery outside the Eastern Healing Center, 612 Wells St., empty beer cans scattered around the back parking lot and women standing in the lot in their pajamas in the morning "making out" with men, Lake Geneva Police Detective Ed Gritzner said.
Someone, looking up the business address in Craig's List, discovered customers could get a "happy ending"—a euphemism for a sexual act—there. And there was a definite uptick in customer traffic, Gritzner said. Complaints started coming in last month.
Lake Geneva police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI and Homeland Security searched Eastern Healing Center, operating as a massage parlor in Unit G, 612 Wells St. about 10 a.m. Oct. 4, Gritzner said.
They found the business was not only operating without a license, but customers there were paying for sexual favors.
When police checked out the office, they discovered a sleeping space with a bed and a kitchen area complete with a small refrigerator.
"You know how most office refrigerators contain a sandwich or something? This one was filled with groceries," Gritzner said. "Apparently, people were living out of the space."
Two female employees, 52 and 54, were arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for immigration violation.
Gritzner said police had receive reports of women being dropped off and picked up at the location, but at least two were there at all times.
"Faces did change," he said.
Gritzner said Homeland Security was involved with the case to investigate whether human trafficking was involved.
It is the first instance of an illegal massage parlor in Lake Geneva he was aware of, Gritzner said.
The case is still under investigation.