A multi-agency law enforcement task force spent the day raiding massage parlors in the Capital Region, including several in Baton Rouge, according to multiple news sites.
WAFB-TV is reporting that law enforcement officials were seen at several massage parlors earlier today, including the Oriental Relax locations on Old Hammond Highway and Coursey Boulevard, Lotus Massage on Jones Creek Road, and Spa Chi on Airline Highway in Prairieville.
The FBI is reportedly heading up the investigation. There has been no official word yet on whether any arrests have resulted from the raids.
In 2015, Business Report investigated the proliferation of erotic massage parlors in the market, the problem they pose for legitimate massage therapists, and the challenges law enforcement faces in trying to crack down on them.
Among the establishments investigated by Business Report at the time was Oriental Relax, whose Old Hammond Highway location was twice issued cease and desist orders in 2014 for operating without a license, according to state records. The massage parlor was later issued a state license, records show.
“This is wonderful news,” says massage therapist Kathie Lea, who has campaigned against illicit and illegally operating massage parlors for years. “There is more work to be done, but now maybe people will start understanding this is a difference between some establishments and others.”