Massage parlor patrons check in
Hotline active in prostitution probe
A confidential police hotline yielded 57 voice-mail messages as of Friday evening from people claiming to be ex-patrons of Fuji Oriental Massage, where investigators allege prostitution has occurred.
Officers had returned calls and spoken to about 30 people, all men, Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said.
“A couple volunteered they were married or had families,” Porras said. “And a majority of these people were expressing thanks for the discreet way we were allowing them to do this. Some were offering to help us in any way possible.”
She said there were no complaints.
A Police Department news release Tuesday said investigators had identified “at least 1,000” people who were customers at Fuji Oriental Massage, 762 Horizon Drive. The release said police would contact people at their homes or at workplaces if they failed to call the hotline, 970-244-3777.
The approach drew pointed criticism from Stephen Laiche, the attorney for Fuji Oriental Massage owner Nan O’Reilly, 58, who faces felony charges of racketeering, pimping and filing a false tax return as well as several misdemeanor charges.
Laiche suggested police were threatening private lives. Several people claiming to be Fuji patrons called him after police went public about the hotline, he said.
“I welcome anybody who has been contacted by police to call me,” said Laiche, whose office number is 245-8021.
Police Detective Ricky Valdez, who is leading the vice squad investigation, bristles at Laiche’s criticism.
“If our intent was to ruin lives, we’d just start calling people or showing up at homes,” Valdez said. “If these clients had such happy homes, families, marriages, then why would they go into Fuji in the first place?”
Porras said the hotline will stay up “as long we’re getting good information.”
O’Reilly’s case is scheduled to be back in court Thursday morning before District Judge Valerie Robison.