More Than 9,000 Massage Parlors Are Sex Trafficking Hubs [infographic]

Over 9,000 massage parlors that are operating across America rake in over $2.5 billion each year from human sex trafficking and prostitution. According to the Polaris Organization, a global leader in the fight against modern slavery calls about illegal massage parlor businesses represent the second-highest volume of calls received by the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

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Infographic about more than 9000 massage parlors are sex trafficking hubs

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Illegal Massage Parlors in America

Commonly hidden in rundown strip malls with nondescript facades, these massage parlors often appear unoccupied to people passing by. However, they are filled with young women lured into prostitution by promises of a better life. Many women are Chinese or South Korean immigrants who have no jobs and speak no English. Some women who have children respond to Mandarin-language ads and Social Media sites that promote high-paying jobs and a way out of debt. Once victims are lured into the sex trafficking operation, they are usually forced to live and work in massage parlors providing sex acts until they pay off their debts. Women who are trapped by debt often stay in these illegal sex trafficking massage parlors for years.

According to Polaris, California has the highest number of networked illegal operations across the country. Massage parlors are frequently linked to similar organizations in other states and various types of businesses including nail salons, dry cleaners, grocery stores, and restaurants. Almost half of their ads have known red flags for human sex trafficking including making arrangements for housing and transportation, taking care of necessary visas, and the possibility of high incomes of over $4,000 per month.

Over the last few years, criminal law attorneys in Minnesota and other states have seen a significant increase in illegal massage parlor businesses. As soon as one is closed down, another one pops up. Sex traffickers skirt around the law and take advantage of unenforced regulations to get away with their criminal activities.

According to Polaris, men locate sex trafficking massage parlors through Social Media sites like Yelp, Craigslist, and The most popular site,, allows customers to post reviews of the women’s ratings and services. Buyers often share experiences including women’s physical attributes, which women provide certain sex acts, and how much to tip. gets approximately 325,000 visitors each month looking for illegal massage parlors around the country.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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Any mistake during the early stages of your interaction with the legal system can result in serious, lifelong consequences. Immediate access to a 24-hour lawyer for criminal defense in Minneapolis, MN, can help calm the situation and improve the likelihood of a desirable outcome.
The criminal defense process in Minnesota constitutes several steps, starting with investigations and culminating with appeals. This process can be long and exhausting. An arrest alone can leave you scared, confused, and overwhelmed with emotions. Making logical decisions in this state can be difficult, especially if it is your first time interacting with the criminal justice system.