June 11, 2019
In a new episode of “China is really really bad and the Chinese are really really evil,” American authorities try to save an innocent Chinese damsel from her evil (allegedly) human-trafficking employers.
The Chinese masseuse shrinks into her chair as the Florida sheriff’s detective tells her deputies installed hidden cameras in her spa’s ceiling. He knows she and other women had sex with men for money.
But you can save yourself, Martin County Detective Mike Fenton and others tell her. We will give you an apartment. We will provide food and education. We will bring your children to the United States.
Just tell us you are a human-trafficking victim and testify against your captors.
Over four hours, the masseuse would see three investigators, two social workers and a translator. A video-recording of her interview was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request. The AP is not naming the woman because she might be a victim of a sex crime.
The outcome of her interview would help determine whether Martin County could prove the owners of five massage parlors its deputies raided are not just pimps, but human traffickers holding women against their will.
The operation was part of a multicounty crackdown that drew international attention when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with paying for sex in neighboring Palm Beach County, one of 300 men overall.
Martin Sheriff William Snyder strongly believes the women are trafficking victims but needs a masseuse to testify against her bosses to get convictions. That could start a cascade of charges that eat away at the national network of massage parlor-based traffickers Snyder believes exists.
Martin Sheriff William Snyder has a hunch.
This is just like the movies.
He probably dreams about gun fighting some kind of Chinese mafia.
The masseuse sits in an interrogation room, hidden cameras again peering from the ceiling. She is 36 and slight, with black hair hanging to her waist. She wears a pink top, jeans and sneakers, her glasses too big for her face. Fenton sits to her right. Across a small table is Damian Spotts, a Mandarin-speaking police officer, and a female translator. The woman had been detained hours earlier during a February raid involving Cove Day Spa, a strip-mall parlor.
Thanks, AP. That’s exactly the kind of information people reading news need.
I’m not talking just about how the glasses fit her face bit also about the fact that the woman is 36 and slight.
It’s never a bad time to do some fat shaming and remind American whores that being 36 and not being an obese sack of yellow adipose tissue is possible.
A Chinese national, the masseuse tells Fenton she has a work visa and has applied for political asylum. She worked at an Alabama massage parlor before moving to spas on Florida’s Gulf Coast. She drove to Martin County on the east coast 15 days earlier.
Fenton soon drops the hammer: We installed cameras.
“We know what goes on in the spa. It is not just massages,” he tells her. “I know this is not the funnest thing to talk about, but we know this is what happens. I don’t think this is the kind of work you want.”
He assures her she is not in trouble — yet. But we must know: Are you forced to prostitute yourself?
No, she responds, shaking her head.
Would someone be angry if you quit? No.
Then why do it?
She pauses, then responds softly, “I don’t know.”
“You know. You are intelligent,” Fenton says. “The reason why you got into this line of work is because somebody told you about it. Is this your dream job?”
She says she does it to support relatives in China. Would they be proud? She doesn’t know.
Talk about cultural imperialism.
How can they use the “bow to our superior morality” line of reasoning if they don’t believe whites are the master race?
“I don’t think you found this all on your own,” Fenton says. He leaves her with Spotts and the translator.
After Fenton leaves, the masseuse tells Spotts the sex wasn’t prostitution. It happened after the massage for no extra charge.
Deputy Heather Hegeman enters and tells the woman she can stay at a safe house, but she wants to return to the spa owner’s condo where she has been living. Hegeman says OK, but the sheriff plans to seize it soon. The woman admits she’s worried the owners will think she ratted.
After Hegeman leaves, a victims advocate enters, explaining she is not a cop.
“We have a house set up. We have therapists set up. We have medical attention if she needs it,” she tells the translator. “Food, clothing. We have all of that, but she has to tell me she is doing this against her will.”
How is all of this okay? This is insane.
They are literally grabbing a woman, putting her into a disadvantaged position in the interrogation room — which creates a huge power imbalance — and offering bribes for her to do what they ask of her.
Under our current societal standard of consent, if the deputies were asking her to perform sexual acts instead of asking her to “flip” and say she’s a victim of human trafficking forced to prostitute herself, they’d be raping her.
They are kind of raping her.
She’s not in a position to consent to anything and they’re pushing her towards their evil ends.
Deputies are pretty much the ones doing the human trafficking and forced prostitution thing. Taking her into the interrogation room is human trafficking, and offering her an apartment, clothing and food, as well as bringing her children to the United States, is them forcing her to prostitute her voice to testify against whoever.
If women are not able to consent to sex after having a few drinks or when a significant power imbalance exists, why are they able to consent to anything else under pretty much the same circumstances?
Law enforcement agents using their authority to “persuade” women into doing what they want is blatantly misogynistic.
Feminists should fight against this.
“But we’re doing this for women’s own good!” is an extremely misogynistic excuse.
#MeToo should talk about the consent problem in law enforcement.
If the masseuse says she’s not being forced, then she’s not being forced.