Rubbed the Wrong Way
Summary: A Brentwood massage parlor is shut down after police claim it is a front for prostitution. Reporter: Paul Martino, KDKA Channel 2 Airtime: 2 minutes, 25 seconds on Oct. 9 Visuals: * Martino, outside the establishment on Brownsville Road. * Interior shots of the parlor, complete with bottles of lotion. * Footage of the alleged prostitutes -- who try to hide their faces, with varying success -- and a close-up of handcuffs on one of them. Highlights: * When anchor Ken Rice declares, "Police say there was more going on at a local massage parlor than just massages. They claim the business was a front for a prostitution ring, and alleged prostitutes were being kept there, almost like slaves." * When Martino responds, straight-faced, "Ken, if you were planning to get a backrub at the Massage Health massage parlor in Brentwood tonight, forget about it, 'cause the place is closed. And we've seen a few guys show up here this afternoon, disappointed to learn that police have shut this place down." * When Martino reports, "Police raided the massage parlor about 1 this afternoon. Three Asian women were handcuffed and arrested. One of them denies prostitution was going on here." * When Martino counters, "But Brentwood police say these massage booths, were, in fact, a place of prostitution. They conducted an undercover investigation after receiving a tip." * When Martino adds, "The massage parlor sits in the middle of Brentwood's well-traveled business district. Business owners and residents here say they're glad this place is shut down." * When a female business-owner asks, "People don't get massages 10, 11 o'clock at night." * When Martino ends the segment, "As for the women who were arrested, Brentwood police were having trouble learning their identity and they're trying to determine if they are, in fact, legal citizens of the United States. We've also learned that some of the women may have been living in the basement of this building in deplorable conditions." What We Learned: There are handcuffs, and there are handcuffs. Unanswered Questions: Is someone else behind this? Three women had enough money to rent space in a commercial building, but were allegedly living in deplorable conditions in the basement? News Value: 6. If the news suspected they were being held captive "almost like slaves," should their faces be shown on camera? Still, my kids walk past this building almost every day, so I'm glad it's shut down.