Browsing: Prostitution

screen_shot_2016-08-23_at_9.04.07_amFor more than a year, Houston Police Department officers went undercover at various “spas” and “massage parlors” in the area, and found what they were looking for: evidence of prostitution.

Police had made various prostitution-related arrests earlier this spring following their sting operation. But now, the Harris County Attorney’s Office has secured temporary injunctions against seven of these unlicensed “spas” and their owners and landlords, preventing all of them from doing business and selling sex as trial in the civil suit approaches. 

 

 

featimg2_262015Cara had just jumped out of the shower, thrown on a T-shirt and plopped down on the couch to finish some homework when she heard someone pounding at the front door. She was stunned by what she saw when she peered out the window: Several uniformed police officers had gathered on her lawn, some, she thought, with guns drawn, “like I was some killer or something.” Police cruisers swarmed the front of her father’s League City home.

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On Thursday, May 19, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge sentenced Tracy Elise, head priestess of the now-defunct Phoenix Goddess Temple, to four and a half years in prison for numerous felony counts related to running a house of prostitution.

The long-running case received international attention and was the subject of aNew Times feature story last month by Miriam Wasser, who explored the claims of Elise and temple supporters that the business existed not to facilitate prostitution but to improve clients’ health and promote religious beliefs. In March, about five years after her arrest, and following a 48-day trial in which Elise represented herself, a jury found her guilty of 22 counts of prostitution, illegal control of an enterprise, money laundering, conspiracy, and related charges.