9 people face misdemeanor charge in Springfield raids
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ Greene County authorities are looking for nine people who are believed to be involved in an alleged sex-trafficking ring that operated at Asian massage parlors in Springfield.
County Prosecutor Dan Patterson said charged the nine suspects Friday with operating a massage business without a proper state license, a misdemeanor.
The charges come after an investigation into human trafficking that led authorities to raid 13 businesses and five residences Thursday.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says Asian women were held against their will and forced to offer sexual contact under the guise of offering massages.
Hawley and Patterson filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking a restraining order against the businesses and individuals. A Greene County judge ruled Friday that six massage parlors cannot engage in prostitution-related activities for at least 10 days but can other offer legal services.