A Tulsa massage parlor owner has been arrested on human trafficking complaints after being accused of threatening employees if they did not solicit sex acts from customers.
The arrest came after an undercover Tulsa police officer visited the Break Room Massage Parlor, owned by Willie Charles Whitman, 44. An employee at the location agreed to have sex with the investigator in exchange for money.
Detectives with the police department's Vice Unit arrested Whitman on complaints of human trafficking and use of a surveillance camera in the commission of a felony.
According to an affidavit, Whitman was "threatening the female employees with violence if they don't continue to work and perform sexual acts for money."
Oklahoma law in 21 O.S. § 748 defines human trafficking as "modern-day slavery that includes, but is not limited to, extreme exploitation and the denial of freedom or liberty of an individual for purposes of deriving benefit from that individual's commercial sex act or labor."
It further defines human trafficking for commercial sex as follows:
a. recruiting, enticing, harboring, maintaining, transporting, providing or obtaining, by any means, another person through deception, force, fraud, threat or coercion for purposes of engaging the person in a commercial sex act,
b. recruiting, enticing, harboring, maintaining, transporting, providing, purchasing or obtaining, by any means, a minor for purposes of engaging the minor in a commercial sex act, or
c. benefiting, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participating in a venture that has engaged in an act of trafficking for commercial sex.
Human trafficking, whether for labor or commercial sex, is a felony punishable by 5 years to life in prison. If a victim of human trafficking is under the age of 18, the crime is punishable by 15 years to life in prison. All minors under the age of 18 working in commercial sex--whether pornography, exotic dancing, or prostitution, are considered to be victims of human trafficking.