Prosecutors: Women charged $40-$60 for inappropriate massages at West Allis business
WEST ALLIS — Initial court appearances were scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 for three women arrested in connection with a prostitution bust at Asian Massage near 92nd Street and Greenfield Avenue in West Allis.
Charges were filed Dec. 23 against Li Wang, 59, of Milwaukee, who prosecutors said was the manager of the massage parlor, Xiaoye Wan, 44, of West Allis, and Qiuying Zhao, 42, of West Allis. Each of the women faces one count of prostitution — sexual contact. Wang faces an additional charge of keeping a place of prostitution.
According to a criminal complaint, undercover agents visited Asian Massage on Aug. 20 — where one was greeted by Wang, and was charged $60 for a one-hour massage. During the massage, the complaint said Wang offered to touch the man inappropriately for $60 more. The agent said he needed to go.
A second agent was greeted by Wan, and who offered to touch him inappropriately for $40 more, the complaint said. The agent said he had to go.
A third was greeted by Zhao on Sept. 17, and during the massage, the complaint said there was a discussion about the possibility of inappropriate touching, and how much it would cost. The complaint said the undercover agent offered to pay $5, and Zhao “began to laugh.” The agent said he had $10, and Zhao replied, “No, $60,” according to the complaint. The agent said that was too much, and the massage ended.
A fourth agent was greeted by Wan on Sept. 17, and the complaint said during the massage, she offered to touch him inappropriately for $40. He said he only wanted the massage.
A search warrant was executed after this undercover investigation — and the three employees were interviewed.
The complaint said Wang indicated she was the manager of Asian Massage, and been for about five months. She denied any illegal activity there.
Wan told investigators she met Wang in Chicago, and Wang offered her a job. She said she worked at Asian Massage for about a month — and Wang was her boss. She said she was paid $150 a day for massages and was able to keep the tips she earned. She initially denied touching customers for money, but the complaint said she then admitted to it — one time. Wan said the owner looked through the crack of the door during a massage and told her she needed to do it — or they would lose customers, so she said she did, twice — fearing retaliation and worried she could lose her job.
West Allis police announced this bust on Saturday, Jan. 18. At that time, a nearby business owner said he witnessed unusual activity at the massage parlor for several years and said he was surprised it wasn’t shut down sooner.
“I think the neighborhood was well aware,” said Robert Lucas, owner of Slurp-N-Burp Fun Bar. “We figured it was a matter of time.” “You’d see Mercedes, BMW, Porsches — cars that didn’t necessarily fit in with the neighborhood or belong in the neighborhood.”
Lucas said he noticed unusual activity there for several years.
“At all times a day,” said Lucas.
He said he would watch as the high-end vehicles were parked a block or two away from the massage parlor.
“And they would walk,” said Lucas. “Even this past week, I watched multiple male individuals walk up to the doors, find it locked, not be able to get in.”
Lucas said making this worse was the fact that this all went down across the street from a school.
“Shameful,” said Lucas, “It’s absolutely shameful.”
The property owner worked cooperatively with authorities to remove the tenants who were engaging in the illegal acts, police said.
The investigation was part of a larger, ongoing effort to combat prostitution in the city. Police said investigations combatting prostitution would continue — citing its effect on neighborhood activity and the conditions of the women involved. Often, such women are forced to engage in sexual acts against their will.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of human trafficking, contact local law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.