Police charged eight female spa workers with prostitution, according to local media outlets, which posted photos of their mug shots on the evening news.
In their efforts to rein in illicit massage businesses across the country, police sometimes rely on sting operations in which undercover officers engage in sex acts with spa workers, according to law enforcement experts and police records reviewed by The Post. While such tactics are generally permitted by law, policymakers are beginning to propose new limits on physical contact by police, which they say serves to dehumanize — and potentially traumatize — the very women the raids are purportedly meant to help. The spa owners and operators targeted by law enforcement, experts said, often go unpunished.
The incidents in Coweta County “stand out as both egregious and probably fairly typical,” said Erin Albright, an anti-trafficking expert who trains law enforcement agents on how to reform their policies to better support victims.
“I do not believe for a second that whatever the state’s interest might be justifies investigators getting naked and having the worker engage in physical contact of any sort,” she said.
Toby Nix, an investigator for the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, said in an email that it is not agency policy or practice to take part “in any illegal or immoral activity.” However, in some circumstances, he said, “a serious attempt to engage in criminal activity must take place before an arrest…