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'' shows where you can get a 'happy ending' massage, tied to Kraft investigation

Posted at 6:03 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 20:33:16-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — "Where Fantasy Meets Reality," is how a website called sells itself to show people where they can find a "happy ending" massage all over the United States.

"When we talk about 'happy endings' we have to ask who's it really a happy ending for?" said Loni Kuriakose, a sex trafficking survivor.

The site shows 364 massage parlors in Kansas and Missouri that sell sex, with around 40 just in Kansas City.

The site will also show you reviews, but you have to subscribe for $20 a month to see that.

41 Action News is not showing the names of these businesses because it's not clear if any sex acts actually happened there.

The demand for these services is surprising, advocacy groups say.

"The demand looks like a guy who's worth $6 billion? Are you kidding me?" said Russ Tuttle, who founded the Stop Trafficking Project.

Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the Patriots, is included in a human trafficking bust in Florida. Investigators used Rubmaps to help them arrest traffickers and identify over 100 men who allegedly paid for sex at massage parlors.

"For a lot of these men it’s not even about sex for them, it’s about power and control and 'I have authority over you.' So therefore, if you have somebody who can’t speak English they know that they’re there. They know that they can’t leave," said Tuttle.

Anti-sex trafficking groups say women who work at these places are likely trafficked, and likely from another country.

"Most are transported and switched around between parlors, and they're going to do that at night so they're not going to know where they're at anyway. They wouldn't even know where to go for help even if they understood they were victims," said Kuriakose.

Kuriakose was sex trafficked for eight years and finally got the support to get out. She started an organization called Streetlight and does outreach in the metro. She says women are forced to service anywhere from 12 to 20 men a day. If they don't, they may be beaten.

She says there is one big, red flag.

"Are people working in that business that never leave? We're finding with a lot of victims that that is their home. Not only their income, but their home. A lot of times they don't have an income; it's taken by the managers and the pimps. They don't receive the money that's laid on the table," said Kuriakose.

Kuriakose and other advocacy groups are working on the Olathe 19 Initiative, where they plan to spread awareness and fliers to 14,000 people, starting with apartment complexes and expanding to businesses.

She says the most common sex trafficking front in Johnson County is a business like a massage parlor, nail salon, and even grocery stores.

Sex trafficking happens in three ways:

  • Force, fraud, or coercion
  • With minors
  • Someone who feels like prostitution or trafficking is their only choice to support themselves

"Maybe as a public we need to go ahead and be a little bit nosier and do a little deeper dive into what’s really going on here and ask some hard questions, so law enforcement can actually step in and make some differences," said Tuttle.

Tuttle and Kuriakose say the number one misconception that keeps demand high is that these workers are just doing a job.

"At the majority of those places we're finding there are people from out of the country who maybe come here looking for a better life, but now they're being exploited," said Tuttle.

Is it a harmless exchange?

"They don't want to be there. I know from experience," Kuriakose said.

We talked to police departments around the metro who say they are aware of Rubmaps, but couldn't go into specifics.

If you suspect a business is trafficking humans, call the police.

You can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or text "HELP" or "INFO" to 233733.