Human sex trafficking fuels dozens of Illicit massage parlors in Kansas City

July 19, 2018 - 7:16 am

Human sex trafficking occurs closer to home than many might imagine.

Research from the University of Missouri Kansas City shows there are 79 illicit massage parlors in the Kansas City Metro.

Emily Russel, executive director of the Missouri Human Trafficking Task Force, say they are directly tied to the practice of human sex trafficking.

"The women who are working in these situations are being forced to provide these sexual services by the traffickers who are running these operations," Russel said.

Many of the massage parlors advertise online, according to Russel, and word of mouth through online chatting spreads the word on locations and services.

"Men are basically telling each other where to go to find sexual services and to purchase sexual services," Russel said.

But it's not just strip mall backrooms and shady alleyways.

"If you look at individuals who are being trafficked, those operations might take place in some of the fancier areas and in incredible mansions in Kansas City, or the nicest hotels," Russel said.

But Russel says despite the occasional opulent surroundings, the victims of human trafficking lead bleak lives.

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