JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Jefferson City massage business calls a civil lawsuit from the Missouri Attorney General "slander and stereotypes against Asians."
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a news release that his office filed four civil lawsuits against illicit massage businesses operating in Missouri, including Blue Lotus Asian Massage Therapy in Cole County. The three businesses are in Laclede County, Jackson County and Clay County.
The lawsuits allege that each of the businesses violated public nuisance statutes and advertised on illicit websites which are used to solicit prostitution.
Owner of the Blue Lotus said, "We only advertise in one place, a local dinner and entertainment annual magazine."
The lawsuit also states there are several indicators that a massage parlor is engaging in commercial sex and potential human trafficking including prices significantly below market; customer reports of female masseuses who request large tips and who express disappointment if they do not receive a tip; windows covered in a way that prevents passersby from seeing inside the business; and being open for late hours (i.e., until 9 p.m. or later).
"I am not aware of any lawsuits against our business. I will say there is a large misunderstanding between what we publish as advertising and what people use to slander and use stereotypes against Asians," a representative of Blue Lotus said in response to a request for comment via Facebook.