The alleged illicit massage business in the upscale neighborhood is one of at least 629 others currently operating across the five boroughs — a network of illegal enterprises so vast, they outnumber Starbucks 2 to 1 citywide, according to data from Heyrick Research...
Lisa Ling investigates the illicit massage parlor industry, from the police struggling to curtail trafficking, to the desperate circumstances that lead women into this lucrative yet exploitative trade.
Excerpt: "Her boss trapped her at the massage parlor not with physical shackles, but with fear of deportation or death. She told Emma that if she did not perform the sexual acts requested of her, the clients would call the police. Emma did refuse to engage in many activities, and some clients grew violent, pulling her hair..."
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced a new, first of its kind initiative to combat instances of human trafficking by targeting illicit massage businesses across the state.