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Florida officer poses as customer in massage parlor sting

South Florida police arrest four women
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Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 10:49:33-05

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — Four women have been arrested in a massage parlor sting involving a South Florida police officer who stripped naked for massages, according to arrest reports.

The Pembroke Pines police officer said he complied when the workers asked him to remove his clothing and wrote in his reports that the workers solicited him for sex while touching his private parts, the South Florida SunSentinel reported.

The officer refused their offers, the arrest reports said.

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Police arrested the four women Tuesday after the officer's investigation ended. They are charged with soliciting prostitution and practicing massage therapy without a license.

The officer "did just as any patron would, when going to get a legitimate full body deep tissue massage," Pembroke Pines police Capt. Al Xiques told the newspaper.

The officer visited the massage parlors in December and January. Police reports identified the women as Hongyan Li, Jianxia Xin, Rongling Huang and Weixia Shi. The women bonded out of jail and have not yet been assigned defense attorneys.

In Li's arrest report, the officer wrote that he visited the Charm Spa Massage Jan. 28 and spent $58 in agency money on a 30-minute massage, the newspaper reported. He wrote that Li patted his rear end as they walked to the room. Inside, she patted his groin area. During the massage she solicited him for sex.

Once he was dressed after the massage, the officer asked Li to repeat how much it would cost to have sex with her. His recording device was activated, the report said.

"I hinted that I would consider it and ultimately exited the business," he wrote. He left a $58 tip.

The other three cases were similar, according to arrest reports.

The case has not yet been assigned to the public defender's office, but Gordon Weekes, the executive chief public defender, told the newspaper he was surprised police didn't deep-dive into the human trafficking potential.

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"I don't understand why law enforcement would not delve deeper into that aspect of this activity to determine if they are victims as opposed to perpetrators engaged in unlawful conduct," he said.

Last year, a sting aimed at human trafficking resulted in the arrests of dozens of men from Jupiter to Orlando, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. He is charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution.

Xiques, the Pembroke Pines police spokesman, said human trafficking was not part of the investigation.

He said the investigation began after a tip came in from a concerned citizen overheard what was happening at the massage parlors. The tipster was concerned about neighborhood children and about the clientele being brought in by the massage parlor.

"When we receive tips of this nature every once in a while, we take immediate action investigating," he said.