WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Concerned citizens and activists in Westerville wanted to figure out a way to stop the opening of a new spa.
“We do not want this coming to Westerville,” said local resident Lindsi Enoch.
Orchid Asian Spa is a new massage parlor that many human trafficking activists claim will bring the wrong kind of business to town.
“We have massage parlors coming up like this, you know quickly, and they’re just a front for human trafficking,” said Esther Flores with 1 Divine Line 2 Health.
So, she and others in Westerville said they are ready to take action.
“I think it’s good for the community members to understand what could possibly be going on behind closed doors,” said Jessica Graham with Survivor’s Ink. “That’s why we’re here: to explain to them this is possible. This is what happens. This is what you’re not seeing.”
Residents said the advertisements they see on sites like Craigslist and backpage.com are the main thing concerning them.
Renee Kisker is the executive director of Stop Trafficking of Adolescents & Prostitution — or S.T.O.P. — and she wants to make sure everyone is aware of what she is seeing.
“You see the sexually oriented and explicit images and advertisements. I think anyone with good reason would be extremely concerned,” she said.
NBC4 went to the home of the owner of Orchid Asian Spa and no one was home. Calls to the building owner were also not returned Saturday evening.
Residents plan to go to the Westerville City Council meeting on February 6 to voice their concerns.