Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a civil lawsuit against four massage businesses, including one in Lebanon, that he claims offer prostitution services.
The lawsuits were filed earlier this week against A Little Massage in Lebanon, Blue Lotus Asian Massage in Cole County, Shangri-La Massage in Jackson County and Ella’s Asian Massage in Clay County. The suits, which are part of the Attorney General’s Hope Initiative to crack down on illicit massage businesses across the state, aims to obtain injunctions and shut the businesses down. The lawsuits allege that the businesses violated public nuisance laws and advertised on multiple websites that are used to solicit prostitution, according to a press release from Schmitt.
“Human trafficking cannot and will not be tolerated in the state of Missouri. Unfortunately, traffickers often use the legitimate massage industry as a façade to facilitate trafficking across the state. The good news is, I’m fighting back. Through my groundbreaking, first-of-its kind Hope Initiative, the Attorney General’s Office has already shut down 37 illicit massage businesses, and today filed suit to shut down four more,” Schmitt said in the Tuesday release.
For more on this story see Saturday's LCR.