Owner of New Berlin massage parlor charged with running prostitution ring
NEW BERLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A woman is facing charges for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of her massage business on West Greenfield Avenue in New Berlin.
It was called "Asian Massage and Reflexology." The signs have been since taken down.
New Berlin Police started their investigation when they got an anonymous tip in April of 2016. The caller indicated that if "he paid her more that she would perform additional sexual favors for him."
Investigators followed up and found online advertisements that were linked to the location.
The ads said, "there are new hot girls that change every two weeks..."
A neighbor told investigators that the business was "disruptive" and she would see girls entering and leaving throughout the day and night.
According to the criminal complaint, there are five instances when informants told police there was sexual contact during their visit.
Police say the woman behind the operation is 56-year-old Jing Zhang. One informant identified Zhang as the person who massaged him.
Zhang is expected to make her first court appearance on March 4.
One state representative says this problem is growing out of control. In the last year, there have been a growing number of complaints about prostitution disguised by a business in southeast Wisconsin.
"At least five or six complaints now that have happened in Waukesha, West Allis, and New Berlin."
State representative Joe Sanfelippo who represents New Berlin plans to propose a bill that will shut down illegal operations sooner.
"This is going to speed up the process that is going to allow local municipalities to step in, take some action on their own which hopefully will then prompt swifter action from the state agency and get these places shut down as quickly as possible,” said Sanfelippo.
During the 2017-2018 Legislature, he introduced a bill which would allow local governments to enforce an ordinance giving their police department the ability to issue municipal citations in the cases of illegal activity but it didn't pass.
He's hoping a new version of the bill will pass this session.
“We need to protect the business for the lawful operators who are conducting their business in the proper manner and we need to clamp down on the illegal and illicit activity.”