Update: Complaints tipped police off to Lake Geneva massage parlor
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 said.
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 the customer traffic, Gritzner said.
Citizen complaints started coming in last month, the detective said.
During the course of a police investigation, officers found underground websites with customers reviews of the business, indicating customers were paying for sexual favors there, Gritzner said.
At about 10 a.m., Oct. 4, Lake Geneva police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI and Homeland Security went to the Eastern Healing Center. Gritzner said police were there initially to check out complaints the business was operating without a license.
When police checked out the office space, they discovered a sleeping area with a bed, and a kitchen area complete with a small refrigerator, Gritzner said.
“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 Chinese female employees, 52 and 54, were arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement for immigration violations, Gritzner said. He said one woman couldn’t produce proof she was legally authorized to live in the United States. The other woman was on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department list of wanted individuals. Gritzner said the women’s names could not be released yet because of ICED’s continuing investigation.
He said Homeland Security was involved with the case to investigate whether human trafficking was involved.
Gritzner said police had received reports of women being dropped off and picked up at the business location, but at least two women were there at all times.
“Faces did change,” he said.
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.