Jasmine Grace Marino, of Nashua, N. Marino says she was forced to work at sites in Connecticut and Maine for five years by her then-boyfriend as she struggled with drugs and alcohol in her 20s. She's since written a book about her experience and runs Bags of Hope, a Boston-based nonprofit that helps women who have been trafficked or dealing with addiction and homelessness. In this Feb.
New solutions for old problem of illegal massage parlors
Oriental Bodywork Spa massage parlors in Concord, New Hampshire
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Massage parlor prostitution on the rise in NH
She was 49, a recent immigrant and deeply in debt to a loan shark back home in China when she answered an employment ad three years ago that promised thousands of dollars a month, but offered no job description. She realized too late that she had been tricked into working at a massage parlor in Flushing, Queens, where besides kneading backs, she was expected to sexually service up to a dozen men a day. In strip malls across the country, neon signs and brightly colored placards promise hot stones, acupuncture and shiatsu with photos of women or couples receiving relaxing shoulder rubs. But a traditionally Asian form of therapeutic relaxation with deep roots in big-city Chinatowns has spun off a different kind of massage parlor that has little to do with traditional remedies. The frequently middle-aged women who work in parlors with names like Orchids of Asia and Rainbow Spa are often struggling to pay off high debts to family members, loan sharks, labor traffickers and lawyers who help them file phony asylum claims.