Tips prompt 6-month investigation; no evidence of human, sex trafficking found
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Police raided a northeast Bend massage business Thursday after a six-month investigation determined it did not have a state license, and recommended its owner, a Washington state resident, be charged as a result.
Late last year, police received several tips from community members about possible human trafficking and sex trafficking at May Foot Spa & Massage on Northeast Bellevue Drive, Bend PD Communications Manager Sheila Miller said.
Detectives began an investigation of the business, also receiving a report of a female customer being the subject of unwanted sexual touching by a massage therapist there, Miller said.
Police determined during the six-month investigation that the massage business did not have a permit through the Oregon State Board of Massage Therapists. Miller said police will work with the city regarding its business registration.
The state board, meanwhile, conducted its own investigation, having received tips that clients had received improper massages from untrained therapists that caused physical injuries.
Police executed a search warrant at the business Thursday and said they found evidence the business does not have a state license to provide massages. However, Miller said, detectives found no evidence that human or sex trafficking was taking place there.
Police said a charge against the business owner, a 48-year-old Puyallup resident, of practicing massage without a license will be forwarded to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office for consideration.
"Bend Police wants customers to be aware that May Foot Spa & Massage is not licensed by the state," the news release stated. "The Oregon State Board of Massage Therapists has a search tool on its website (www.oregon.gov/obmt) that allows users to check whether a massage therapist is properly licensed in Oregon.:
There are no other charges being considered at this time, but the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information about or experience with the business is asked to contact Det. Daniel Koehnke at firstname.lastname@example.org.