More Waco massage parlor arrests

Posted on Apr 11, 2018

A raid on a Waco massage parlor in December appears to be the gift that keeps on giving - at least for local law enforcement. When the massage parlor was raided, investigators discovered video cameras in the rooms, which recorded all of the interactions between the employees and the patrons of the massage parlor. Investigators have been reviewing those tapes, and arresting the individuals who are seen engaging in sex acts. At first, it was individuals who had the bad luck to be fairly well known - and therefore easily identified. Over the last several weeks, authorities have arrested more people, who may not be so well known. How the identifications are being made is anyone's guess, but they continue to identify and bring in individuals.

Some might wonder how they intend to prove these cases if they go to court. Based on news reports, I assume the employees may not be around, and therefore won't be able to testify about what is seen in the video. I also assume there is some type of sexual activity shown on the video, which separates the people that are being arrested from those who might be simply getting a massage. Proving there is sexual conduct is not going to be enough though; there must be some payment for that. Perhaps there's an exchange of money that's visible, but if not that could be an issue. Depending on the quality of the video, identify could also be an issue - they still have to prove the person on the video is the defendant. There are also specific requirements that must be met before any video can be introduced, and that could be an issue.

My guess is that this is an interesting exercise for lawyers to engage in, but you may not see it play out in court. When a case goes to trial it's public. Given the interest the arrests have generated, you can almost guarantee that a trial would be covered by the major media. For people who are trying to hold onto what reputation they might have left, the last thing they want is additional publicity. That means the majority of cases will most likely be disposed of with some type of negotiated agreement. Of course, that may not be true for the more serious charges, where individuals appear to be forcing themselves on the employees.

I don't think we've seen the end of this yet. There's no telling how many individuals are on the videos. Investigators appear determined to identify - and charge - everyone they can, which means you can expect the arrests to keep rolling in for some time.

Walter Reaves
Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.