COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — 13 Investigates first started exposing illicit spas in Colorado Springs four years ago.
Now, new court records are shedding light on the battle between the City of Colorado Springs and massage businesses accused of selling sex. 13 Investigates has discovered that police citations are not stopping some spas from keeping their doors open.
In 2022, the city enacted a massage business license law that aims to shut down these illicit spas. Since it took effect in September of that year, police have cited nearly two dozen spas for operating illegally.
13 Investigates has obtained records for 21 citations issued by Colorado Springs police. All 21 citations were filed against the business owners for violating the new ordinance that requires spas to have a city license. Of those citations, six business owners pleaded guilty in municipal court. According to court records, the sentencing was always the same. The business owners received a $150 fine and six months deferred sentence.
A defense attorney representing three business owners facing citations says he thinks the ordinance is meant to shut these businesses down.
“They seem to be going after Korean women it’s an effort to shut down their operations,” attorney Daniel Kay said.
In November, one of Kay’s clients was cited three times for three separate businesses, Garden Spa, Rainbow Spa, and Tiffany Spa.
13 Investigates has confirmed that one of those businesses, Tiffany Spa, was up and running in December, just weeks after the owner was cited. We also discovered Tiffany Spa customers leaving reviews online saying they paid for sexual favors in December. Those reviews were left on the site, Rubmaps.
Rubmaps is an explicit website used by law enforcement to identify massage businesses suspected of selling sex. Kaye declined to comment on his client’s case, but he did question the constitutionality of the city’s new law.
“It’s vague, it’s over broad, I think there could be a constitutional challenge to it,” Kaye said.
Several other massage business owners are due in city court in the coming weeks.