TIMONIUM, Md. - Long before a website appeared advertising Chinese massage parlors in Timonium with happy endings, neighboring businesses already suspected the sad reality behind the services they had to offer.
"The traffic was unbelievable, like last week on a Saturday, they would have anywhere from 20 to 30 clients,” said Ed Barczak, “We would be just sitting working here and you would hear the door opening and constantly in and out all the time."
While advertisements for Victoria Spa on York Road featured young, beautiful women with seductive overtones, the women arrested in a recent raid bared little resemblance to them, and the stark furnishings inside the parlor, including a fold out chair and a stack of blankets, also suggested a low rent operation where the women offered up their services for $50 for 30 minutes and just $10 more for the full hour.
"In one case, a 42-year old woman was charged with prostitution and performing a massage without a license and in another case a 43-year old woman was charged with performing a massage without a license," said Baltimore County Police Cpl. Cathy Batton.
The recent sting by Baltimore County Police and federal agents came after months of complaints by businesses like Barczak’s, where young children tried to advance their education upstairs as men headed downstairs to the basement for a different class of services.
"Really what concerned me was we're running a learning center. We have students here as young as kindergartners coming in the same door all the time at all hours of the day."
At another of the targeted parlors a few blocks away, we attempted to talk to the owners, but despite following the instructions posted on the door and ringing the bell, we couldn’t seem to get their attention.
The two women from Flushing, New York have posted bail of $3,500 apiece, and are back out on the street.
The feds are still trying to determine their legal status in this country.
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