Four women were arrested this week in Parkersburg in connection with alleged prostitution at massage parlors.
The investigation involved two parlors, Hot Stone Massage, located at 3003 Murdoch Ave., Parkersburg, and Asian Massage Parlor, located at 3501 Emerson Ave., Suite 5A, according to the Parkersburg Police Department.
Hua Yun Sun, 55, and Shu Ying Jiao, 56, both were arrested at Hot Stone Massage, police said. Sun was charged with two counts of prostitution, operating a house of ill fame, and operating a massage business without a license. Jiao was also charged two counts of prostitution, operating a house of ill fame, and operating a massage business without a license.
Sun and Jiao were arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court, and Magistrate Brenda Marshall set bond at $2,000 each.
Yun Lin Liu, 43, and Zuqiong Li, 57, both were arrested at the Asian Massage Parlor. Liu was charged with one count of prostitution and operating without a license. She was arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court, where Marshall set bond at $1000. Zuqiong was charged with two counts of prostitution, operating without a license, and operating a house of ill fame. Marshall set her bond at $2,000.
The four women were arrested Feb. 6 at approximately 6:15 p.m. when investigators conducted search warrants at both locations without incident.
According to police, the investigation started after the department received anonymous information about improper sexual activity at Hot Stone Massage. The case was assigned to the detective bureau.
The Department of Homeland Security was contacted to assist with identifying the employees of the business. Detectives and agents were able to ascertain that Hot Stone Massage was also in operation in other cities and states at locations owned by the same person. The investigation identified a second business, Asian Massage Parlor, allegedly conducting similar practices, the department said.
An undercover police officer went to each business and received a massage. The criminal complaint stated that, at each location, the defendants completed an agreement for sexual favors. The undercover operation was conducted a second time and resulted in the same outcome, the department said in a press release.
While serving the search warrants, investigators recovered items such as logbooks with names, cash, video recordings, and electronic devices. These devices will be analyzed for additional evidence of prostitution, according to police.