Indiana Police Accused of Excess In Massage Parlor Sex Probe


Police officers visited Indiana massage parlors repeatedly and allowed workers — all Chinese immigrants — to fondle them in exchange for cash, all in a fight against prostitution and human trafficking. On Wednesday, 30 officers raided two businesses in Carmel and Zionsville, arresting six people — four alleged prostitutes and two alleged pimps, says the Indianapolis Star. The methods police say were needed to shut down a sophisticated prostitution ring were criticized by legal and law-enforcement experts and women's advocates as excessive, unnecessary, and misapplied to an investigation that involved possible human trafficking.

They say that prostitutes can be arrested and charged in Indiana as soon as an agreement to pay for a sex act is made. Intimate contact was not required. Plus, some said, if the women indeed had been victims of sexual exploitation, working in the sex trade against their will, the sex acts they performed on the officer only contributed to their humiliation, exploitation and degradation. “How do you simultaneously say you're protecting them by arresting them, but then you're victimizing them by your undercover stuff?” said Eugene O'Donnell, a former New York police officer and prosecutor who's now a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “Is this official victimization by the state?”

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