Last week, the FOX 8 I-Team revealed raids at massage parlors in Strongsville, Middleburg Heights, and Painesville Township.
Now, Middleburg Heights police video gives us a glimpse at what investigators found there.
In one video clip, officers pull up and get out of their car as others are arriving.
Police go in and some woman there end up in handcuffs.
The Cuyahoga County Human Trafficking Task Force and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office led the investigation.
They say they have evidence of women forced to carry out sex for sale even while living in the massage parlors.
In fact, in one video clip, you see a washer and dryer and hear investigators talking about finding food.
Investigators say citizens complained about these businesses. While the case has focused on the people running those businesses, detectives are also taking a hard look at hundreds of customers.
Larry Henderhan, a commander with the Task Force said, “Numerous customers, short periods of time, primarily male customers.”
He added, “Sexual activity is what’s going on there is what our investigation showed. There’s a demand. They wouldn’t be in business if there wasn’t a demand for it.”
No charges yet. Sometime soon investigators will present the case to a grand jury at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center. That could lead to charges for sex trafficking, forced labor, financial crimes, and more. The follow-up investigation going on now will determine what charges get filed.
The video shows women taken into custody. But investigators also rescued several women believed to be victims of human trafficking.
A group called the Harriet Tubman Movement is already helping some of the women in this case start new lives. Co-founder Laura Bartchak said, “We want them to be safe first of all.”
She added, “We will scour the country for what program might be best, what options might be best.”