The War on Human Trafficking

Macon Police have arrested more people in connection with massage parlors in Macon. Of 13 raided this time, 5 spas had 12 people arrested. 8 spas were raided last time with 13 arrests.

Last time, the Chief of Police was asked if there were signs of human trafficking at the businesses. He said no.

This time he was asked and said he’d now need to say “no comment.”

The Police have started receiving training on signs of human trafficking.

Internally, Mayor Reichert and I are proceeding with legislation to shut these places down and prevent them from reopening.

22 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Erick,

    Why not just require a license for each and every profession. Then we could “crack down” on everyone who might be doing something wrong while operating under what is, by itself, a legitimate business enterprise.

    Where does it stop? Perhaps with all of us coming hat in hand to you or the mayor to ask permission to change jobs, since we won’t have the apporpriate license?

    The government and government busy-bodies have no business interfering with the private business transactions between individuals without a darned good reason, otherwise, just enact an 8PM-6AM curfew and I bet the rates of all sorts of crimes would plummet.

  2. Doug Deal says:

    grift,

    He and the mayor just want to shut down the massage parlors, it does not matter if the pretended reason is “human trafficking”, “prostitution” or the raison du jour.

    As a side note, I have never had a paid massage in my life, have no desire to pay anyone for one, and could not care less about protecting these obviously shady businesses here in Macon. People, however, have a right to perform these services without two prudes from council being overly concerned about whether people are enjoying themselves a little too much.

  3. Tea Party says:

    @Doug Spas that preform illegal services are a blight to their communities, and real estate values. It is not about ‘two prudes’ or government intervention.

    It is about making a stand for what is right. In Atlanta you can’t throw a stone without hitting a Spa, or as they are now called Chalet or even Blue.

    These places are just wrong on so many levels.

    Good work making this more public, Erik.

  4. Romegaguy says:

    I applaud you Erick. Since life begins at ejaculation we need to protect all of these potential lives that are being needlessly slaughtered

  5. Doug Deal says:

    Tea,

    Then stop the illegal services. My real estate values do not give me the right to use government to limit another person’s freedom. We already have zoning laws, and it is not like these things are in areas zoned residential.

  6. bucky says:

    Grift and Doug: What if the evidence shows that a significant percentage of the women working at these spas were smuggled here illegally from Asia or elsewhere, were being forced to do this with threats, etc? I believe that’s what Erick is concerned about, and he’s right to be. I’ve never been to one of these spas, but I have a gut feeling many of them are staffed by young women who were lured here to the U.S. illegally with the promise that they’d be working in a restaurant or hotel, only to be told they’ll instead be sex workers and have no choice about it.
    As for folks who are trying to do something about it in Georgia, including here in Macon, visit:
    http://www.afuturenotapast.org
    http://www.wellspringliving.org

    Also, y’all are right to say we do have enough laws on the books. We just need to make sure we enforce them. The newest one is 1-§ 16-5-46: Trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude

    (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

    (1) “Coercion” means:

    (A) Causing or threatening to cause bodily harm to any person, physically restraining or confining any person, or threatening to physically restrain or confine any person;

    (B) Exposing or threatening to expose any fact or information that if revealed would tend to subject a person to criminal or immigration proceedings, hatred, contempt, or ridicule;

    (C) Destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, or possessing any actual or purported passport or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document, of any person; or

    (D) Providing a controlled substance, as such term is defined by Code Section 16-13-21, to such person.

    (2) “Deception” means:

    (A) Creating or confirming another’s impression of an existing fact or past event which is false and which the accused knows or believes to be false;

    (B) Maintaining the status or condition of a person arising from a pledge by that person of his or her personal services as security for a debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined, or preventing a person from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of such debt; or

    (C) Promising benefits or the performance of services which the accused does not intend to deliver or perform or knows will not be delivered or performed. Evidence of failure to deliver benefits or perform services standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction under this Code section.

    (3) “Labor servitude” means work or service of economic or financial value which is performed or provided by another person and is induced or obtained by coercion or deception.

    (4) “Sexual servitude” means:

    (A) Any sexually explicit conduct as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-12-100 for which anything of value is directly or indirectly given, promised to, or received by any person, which conduct is induced or obtained by coercion or deception or which conduct is induced or obtained from a person under the age of 18 years; or

    (B) Any sexually explicit conduct as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-12-100 which is performed or provided by any person, which conduct is induced or obtained by coercion or deception or which conduct is induced or obtained from a person under the age of 18 years.

    (b) A person commits the offense of trafficking a person for labor servitude when that person knowingly subjects or maintains another in labor servitude or knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means another person for the purpose of labor servitude.

    (c) A person commits the offense of trafficking a person for sexual servitude when that person knowingly subjects or maintains another in sexual servitude or knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means another person for the purpose of sexual servitude.

    (d) Any person who commits the offense of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years. Any person who commits the offense of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude against a person who is under the age of 18 years shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years.

    (e) Prosecuting attorneys and the Attorney General shall have concurrent authority to prosecute any criminal cases arising under the provisions of this Code section and to perform any duty that necessarily appertains thereto.

    (f) Each violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense and shall not merge with any other offense.

    (g) A corporation may be prosecuted under this Code section for an act or omission constituting a crime under this Code section only if an agent of the corporation performs the conduct which is an element of the crime while acting within the scope of his or her office or employment and on behalf of the corporation and the commission of the crime was either authorized, requested, commanded, performed, or within the scope of his or her employment on behalf of the corporation or constituted a pattern of illegal activity that an agent of the company knew or should have known was occurring.

  7. griftdrift says:

    Tea,

    I just went in my back yard and started chucking rocks. Didn’t hit one darn spa. Very disappointing.

    Oh, and I drove through Macon yesterday and spotted a couple of these spas. I seriously doubt they are affecting the property values of the shangra-la neighborhoods where they sit.

    And bucky, I don’t think we disagree. Enforce current laws. There’s no need to make up new ones unless you have another purpose.

  8. Doug Deal says:

    Bucky,

    I too do not disagree with enforcing laws on the books in regard to the obvious illegal activity of human trafficking. If these women can be shown to be coerced into working for these establishments, perhaps raid the places and arrest the people doing the coercion. Or is that every bit of the red herring it seems to be?

    grift, if you didn’t throw so much like a girl, you might actually clear your property line and hit the parlor next door. 🙂

  9. bucky says:

    Grift and Doug, I think we’re probably on the same page here. We don’t necessarily need new laws, but we do need to enforce the ones we have. It’s just difficult to figure out what’s really going on in these spas

  10. liberator says:

    All these gestapo raids and still no evidence of trafficking or slavery in Macon! Maybe the willful idiot is the person who keeps saying it is occurring with no evidence. Maybe the councilman should grow a moustache and change his first name to Adolph?

  11. liberator says:

    Amen Doug! Erickson is using the sex slavery issue as cover for his intent to pander to Ned Dominick and Rinda Wilson and the backwoods Fascists in Macon who don’t realize the revenue these places bring in. We have nothing to bring tourists here except the Spas. The police chief has no evidence of sex slavery. Libel!

  12. dorian says:

    I wonder what a bunch of free advertising and scarcity has done to the spa market in macon these days?

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