Home Community News EPD V.I.P.E.R. Unit holds Operation To Address Massage Parlor Complaints

EPD V.I.P.E.R. Unit holds Operation To Address Massage Parlor Complaints


The EPD VIPER unit received information that several “massage parlors” around the city of Evansville were issuing massages for a specific rate and adding inappropriate sexual favors for additional payment. The VIPER Unit identified six massage parlors to run surveillance on: First Ave Massage and Spa, Asian Massage, Beijing Spa, Lilac Massage, Royal Spa, and Sunrise Spa.

The detail began on May 8th and lasted until May 14th, with the unit identifying the hours of 10 AM to 10 PM to conduct the surveillance. The VIPER unit observed that most activity occurred during the hours of 4 PM to 8 PM, during which time only male customers entered each business. Marked units would stop customers after they left the business and Detectives would conduct roadside interviews. Approximately 90% of all male customers admitted that they paid $60 for an hour long massage and an additional $40 for a sexual act of some sort. All customers were documented and released, as they were not the overall target of the investigation.

Undercover Detectives then went into these businesses with marked currency. They would receive a “massage” and then attempt to solicit a sexual favor for tips. One Detective was propositioned and touched inappropriately after offering the additional $40 dollars. The female was cited and the business, Asian Massage, was warned.

The investigation came to a close on May 15th after it became apparent that Detectives would have to repeat this process to gain the trust of parlor employees, and risk being discovered the longer the investigation went on. 

Detectives discovered that citizen complaints of misconduct were correct but found no evidence that the involved females were victims of human trafficking. Each parlor will continued to be monitored and the appropriate citations will be issued if they are found in violation. The Safety Board will seek to suspend or revoke the massage/clinic license if they employ an unlicensed employee, and after conducting a public hearing on the matter.

Our current plan of action is to periodically monitor each of the above parlors and issue citations and city ordinances for employers and employees without massage licenses in the State of Indiana (Indiana Code 25-21.8-7-1 {CM} and EMC 5.50.110). Finally, if a massage therapy clinic does employ persons who are not licensed, the Safety Board will seek to suspend/revoke the massage therapy clinic license. This may only be done after conducting a public hearing on the matter.