SHELBURNE, Vt. -There's a new push to rid Vermont of human trafficking. The feds are going after the landlords who rent to commercial sex sellers.
The sign outside used to read "Oasis Hotstone." Now it says "For Rent." Investigators say the Shelburne massage parlor was a front for illegal human trafficking.
"What you'll see is that the girls will stay there four to six weeks-- gone. Bring in two, three more-- gone," Det. Tpr. Matt Hill of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations said back in May.
After seeing an ad posted online, WCAX News visited the business back in May and watched several men go in and out throughout the night. So, we wanted to know what happened inside.
Reporter Jennifer Costa: What kind of massages can you get here?
Woman: It's shiatsu massage.
Costa: Shiatsu massage.
The woman who answered the door denied men came there to pay for sex.
Woman: I think there is no problem here. Just a massage here.
Costa: So absolutely nothing sexual happens here?
But according to court documents, alleged "johns" told police they would pay $80 for an hourlong massage, but 20 minutes into the service would have the option to pay more for a variety sexual services.
"There is no question that commercial sex trafficking does not exist without sex buyers," said Eric Miller, U.S. attorney for Vermont.