SPOKANE-- Operation Red Light exposed what police say is large prostitution ring, but prostitution is just the beginning of the criminal activities that surround Asian spa and massage parlors in Spokane.
One of the former prostitutes says most of the women are also hooked on drugs, which is how they spend most of their income. For many of them, it’s a never ending cycle-- they need drugs to perform their tricks, and need to do the tricks to afford drugs.
“Jane Doe” worked in three of the spas allegedly housing prostitutes. She worked for about six months, starting with small sexual favors, but it escalated.
“For a long time I only did the happy ending hand job, and then, finally, I started seeing the way other people were making their money. I wanted to do it too,” she said.
Doe made hundreds to thousands of dollars in a day and spent up to 75 percent of it on drugs. She said the habit helped her cope with what she was doing.
“I was taking six to ten hydro tens a day. Crystal meth, heroin, crack, pill-- I’ve seen all of this in the spas, and I’ve seen the girls doing these things.”
On top of the addiction, Jane Doe says the spa owners, like pimps, would get a psychological hold on the prostitutes.
“There was a lot of emotional abuse on these women. They would tell you you’re fat and ugly.”
Doe says she comes from a family of addiction. Several of her family members died from drug overdose.
“I always promised myself that I’d never end up like them. When it got to the point where I was falling asleep in the bathtub and I didn’t know what I was saying, I couldn’t do it anymore.”
Doe says she went through several drug rehab programs. She’s now clean and working several part-time jobs. She says she’s in a much happier place in her life.