Issaquah, Bellevue police nab woman for prostitution

July 2, 2013

By Peter Clark

After many local residents raised eyebrows about its advertising, a police investigation led to a prostitution arrest June 27 at a massage parlor in the 1700 block of Newport Way Northwest.

Police said they were alerted to the possibility of nefarious business practices when signs were seen along the street marketing “Asian Girl Massage.” Issaquah officers began working with the Bellevue Police Department.

“Basically, we started the investigation when we received some complaints about how the business was advertising,” Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said. “We utilized some of the resources from the sheriff’s department and a detective from Bellevue. They were not investigating our location, but they did have a location that had some similarities.”

He said that the Issaquah Police Department had known about the existence of the business for more than a month and the investigation took less than a week. A Bellevue officer went undercover to expose the solicitous behavior and make the arrest of the 44-year-old woman.

Behrbaum said that prostitution in Issaquah is a rare occurrence.

“This is one of the first prostitution cases we’ve had in years,” he said. “We’ve had escort services and issues have arisen out of those, but this is the first one of these I’ve seen.”

Behrbaum explained the use and value of police departments cooperating. When suspects or victims cross boundary lines, he said it becomes imperative that departments work together.

“We team up with all regional law enforcement,” he said. “It depends on the severity of the incidents, but there is a lot of communication that goes on.”

Bellevue Police Public Information Officer Carla Iafrate confirmed that the investigation of the business is ongoing. Because of that, the department would not release any further information regarding the case, including specifics about the arrested woman.

Behrbaum said he was thankful for the vocal public, which kept police informed.

“We appreciate the citizens calling in when they see suspicious activity,” he said.

Call the Issaquah Police Department at 837-3200.


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