ORLANDO, Florida. – When Florida authorities shut down 10 massage spas last month and arrested hundreds of people for buying sex, they broke a long pattern.
In the past, owners had mostly faced minor offence and penalty, customers almost never were arrested, and signs of human trafficking often do not lead to an investigation.
An Associated Press review of state records shows that while law enforcement in Florida has examined hundreds of individual massage parlours, illicit sexual activity, it was mostly low level massage therapists who were arrested.
Owners are often exempted or charged with violations, resulting in fines and probation. Johns were usually not charged.
In stark contrast with the research announced last month focused on the possibility of widespread human trafficking, and hundreds of johns were arrested.