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Human Trafficking Task Force calls for Colorado Springs council to enact illicit spa ordinance


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado is advocating for the Colorado Springs City Council to pass an ordinance regulating massage businesses to fight human trafficking.

Over the weekend, the group held their annual symposium, which focused on the nearly three dozen illicit massage businesses in Colorado Springs first exposed by 13 Investigates in 2019.

The task force asked those who attended to email the Colorado Springs council to ask for an ordinance that would make it harder for illicit spas to operate in the city.

"We've learned about successful efforts to curtail illicit massage businesses in Aurora and Denver. We'd like to see the same here," Jo-Ann O'Neill said. "We encourage you to write and ask for an ordinance regulating massage businesses."

Aurora, Denver, Wheat Ridge, and Commerce City have all adopted local ordinances to get illicit massage businesses out of their communities over the last few years.

The ordinances allow the cities to inspect and license massage businesses.

"We can screen them out and deal with some of the issues that are specific to these businesses that legitimate massage therapy businesses do not do," Aurora tax and licensing manager Trevor Vaughn previously told 13 Investigates.

Aurora's ordinance, which passed in 2018, requires proper state massage licensing, prohibits employees from living inside the spas, and doesn't allow them to advertise sexual services. The city of Aurora was able to shut down all of its illegitimate massage businesses within a year after passing the ordinance.

The Colorado Springs City Council was briefed by police during a work session about the ongoing human trafficking problem back in April.

At that time, the Colorado Springs Police Department said there were as many as 34 massage businesses in Colorado Springs that they believed human trafficking was occurring inside of.

Since then, however, the council has failed to take any action on the issue.

For more information on the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado, click here.

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.



  1. It is really difficult to arrest someone when,
    1. The LEA’s won’t investigate
    1a. cl@ss 1 public nuisance is already on the law books
    2. Or the LEA’s are botching their cases because they want to get “Body Slides” from alleged prosttutes they entrapped and then will lose the case because of the Fruits of the poisonous tree doctrine.
    search KRDO’s website for hyperlink to EPSO-detective-not-placed-on-leave-after-receiving-a-nude-service-during-a-pimping-prosttution-investigation/

    1. “El Paso County Sheriff’s Office detective, working as part of a CSPD task force, got naked and paid for a woman to perform a service on him while she was also nude as a part of an undercover operation.”
      Well now we know why EPSO, CSPD, the county commissioners, and the city council are not going after the majority of the illicit m@ssage spas, it appears the services are to good to p@ss up, way to lead by example.
      “I was completely unaware that this was occurring within the Metro VNI multi-jurisdictional team, and I view the tactics used in this investigation as unacceptable.”
      That’s because this could qualify as entrapment Chief…
      “was never placed on leave and remains on full active duty.”
      Wow, I bet he learned his lesson by this punishment…
      “It doesn’t appear that it’s illegal for a police officer to receive a consensual service like this during an undercover operation. KRDO was also unable to find any part of CSPD’s Policies and Procedures that specifically addresses this type of behavior during an undercover operation.”
      But it is illegal to criminally charge a person for acts the officer voluntarily requested and received.
      “Criminal Code § 18-1-709. Entrapment”
      The commission of acts which would otherwise consttute an offense is not criminal if the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement official or other person acting under his direction, seeking to obtain evidence for the purpose of prosecution, and the methods used to obtain that evidence were such as to create a substantial risk that the acts would be committed by a person who, but for such inducement, would not have conceived of or engaged in conduct of the sort induced.  Merely affording a person an opportunity to commit an offense is not entrapment even though representations or inducements calculated to overcome the offender’s fear of detection are used.
      Fruits of the Poisonous tree doctrine
      The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine puts a check on illegal conduct by the police by limiting or foreclosing the use and admissibility of that Governmental evidence that has been gained through an illegal search or seizure.

    2. This has become so common, someone breaks a law and instead of enforcing that properly you call for more law.

  2. If they manage to close down the store front spas, won’t they just start operating out of Airbnb’s? (Maybe in your neighborhood?) What is the city going to do about that?

  3. But the military loves the rub and tug spas as much as they hate the recreational marijuana. Our mayor and city council can’t grab their ankles fast enough for the military.

    1. And if that is the stance of the city council, county commissioners, CSPD, EPSO, and the majority of the voting consttuency, then they should repeal the prosttution and pimping laws and make it legal. Either enforce the laws on the books or repeal them and stop attempting to pick and choose which of these criminals they will and will not arrest.

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