BRATTLEBORO — A Williamsburg, Va., woman was cited with profiting off of prostitution after a Putney Road massage parlor was raided by federal, state and local law enforcement.
According to information from the Vermont State Police, Pok Sun Kim, 63, was the only person arrested following the raid, the result of a lengthy, multi-agency investigation into human trafficking.
After her arrest, Pok Sum Kim was cited, released with conditions and ordered to appear in Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division on Sept. 27.
The raid happened Wednesday afternoon after law enforcement received a search warrant to enter Rainbow Therapeutic Spa at 801 Putney Road.
Beginning in April, local, state and federal law enforcement conducted video surveillance of Rainbow Therapeutic Spa on Putney Road in Brattleboro.
The surveillance “yielded a high number of males entering and exiting the business,” states a 32-page affidavit filed by Vermont State Police Detective Lieutenant Michael Studin.
“As a result of the surveillance details, 10 males were identified and admitted to paying for sex acts within the spa,” states the affidavit. “Those males provided a sworn audio-recorded statement detailing the sex acts that they received.”
The men came from all over the tri-state region, including Northampton, Winchendon and Belchertown, Mass., Keene, Swanzey and Winchester, N.H., and, here in Vermont, Brattleboro and Dummerston. Two of them came from as far away as Schuylerville, N.Y., and Clearwater, Florida.
Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Shriver said no decision has yet been made on whether the patrons questioned during the investigation will be charged with any crimes.
According to the business license filed with the town of Brattleboro, the business owner is Young Suk Seo and the operator, as identified in the affidavit, is Kwang Nam Kim.
Shriver said investigators are still evaluating the evidence obtained during the raid before they interview Young Suk Seo and Kwang Nam Kim.
According to the affidavit, Kwang Nam Kim is the son of Soon Won Yang, who owned a similar operation, Ocean Sauna, in Mobile, Alabama, which was raided by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department in 2015.
As in Alabama, the massage parlor in Brattleboro is alleged to have harbored “unlawfully present female nationals of Asian descent who perform sex acts on ... patrons in exchange for monetary payment,” states the affidavit.
And as in Alabama, the woman in Brattleboro appeared to have been “harbored in makeshift living quarters inside the business ...” and rarely, if ever, leave the building.
“The business website displays photographs of young Asian females wearing a combination of lingerie, bras, and formal dresses,” wrote Studin. “The faces of the six females displayed on the website are blurred out and the phrase ‘100 percent real deal’ is written across the photographs of the three females wearing the lingerie and the bra. The website also advertises that there are new girls at the business and the most recent update to the site was June 4, 2021.”
Shriver said that at this time no charges are being contemplated for any of the other workers at the spa.
The investigation was conducted by the Vermont State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, the Brattleboro Police Department and the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation.