Local massage parlor raided by authorities

by Dan Holland

The Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, along with assistance from the Broadview Heights Police Department, raided a Broadview Heights massage parlor suspected of operating a sex-for-pay operation, according to a press release from the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

According to the release, task force agents and detectives executed a search warrant at JR Spa, located at 8143 Broadview Rd., on Jan. 24. Items seized during the search included condoms, documents, financial records and more than $7,000 in cash. Two individuals are said to have been living and working at the business.

Assistance in the search came from the Canopy Child Advocacy Center, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and the State Medical Board of Ohio.

Mayor Sam Alai noted the raid during a Jan. 29 city council work session.

“Our police department did a wonderful job along with the other agencies,” said Alai. “Within a month of knowing that the business was there, not only was it shut down, but now you have people heading to jail.” said Alai. “Our building department was involved and found out that there was an illegal business that came in unbeknownst to the city without permits, with people coming in the back door with no signage.”

“Hats off to everyone that was involved in this, and acting with lightning speed – to have this investigated and shut down within a month’s time is incredible,” he added. “Everyone involved did great work, and we should all be proud of that.”

Alai said the building owner/landlord will be held accountable for allowing the operation of an illegal business.

“They should be held accountable for their actions in this; not that they themselves did anything illegal, but they let a business come in that shouldn’t have been in there, with no occupancy permit or signage. I just want to assure all the members of council and the public that we will be looking into the owners of these businesses to hold them accountable for what they did wrong.”

“We didn’t know they were there; there was no signage, and no one knew they were coming in through the back door,” Alai said following the work session. “They did all the work on the interior putting up walls to outfit it to whatever it looks like without any building permits. As soon as we found out, we took action.”

“All of these agencies did such a great job,” he continued. “If the building department goes in, then we shut it down the next day. But, enter the police and human trafficking task force, and now people end up going to jail. The outcome was great, and we’re very proud of that.”

Anyone with information on the business is being asked to call the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force at 216-443-6085.

Photo: Police say there was no signage indicating this Broadview Heights building was home to a massage parlor. Photo by Dan Holland.