Trouble could be on the horizon for a Democratic congressman and a piece of property he owns — specifically regarding the type of business that operates there and whether that business has operated in ways that run afoul of the law.
The congressman, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), owns property in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and has come under scrutiny over whether a massage parlor that operates in that location has violated the law pertaining to prostitution or other illicit sexual services, Fox News reported in April.
A recent separate report indicates that, prior to Kind’s purchase of the property nearly 30 years ago, that particular building had a documented history of being used as a massage parlor front for prostitution, according to Breitbart.
The congressman’s property
Federal disclosure forms show the congressman has received $15,001-50,000 per year in rental income from a business known as Asian Sunny Massage, previously known as Impressions Spa, which first opened up in 2018.
When that business was first established, it posted advertisements on a number of different websites that have been linked to illicit sex services, prostitution, and potentially even human trafficking, Fox reported.
Adding fuel to the speculation about potential criminal wrongdoing at Kind’s property is the fact that, according to local media outlet WKBT, local police have been dispatched to that property at least seven times since the massage parlor opened in 2018, once for a welfare check, another time for suspicious activity, and the remainder in response to 911 calls. No criminal charges ever came from those calls.
Fonts for prostitution
Rep. Kind’s Republican opponent, former U.S. Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden, has called for a thorough investigation to “uncover any potential illegal activity,” particularly in light of the fact that massage parlor and spa industries were “proven to be a component of human sex trafficking.”
The operators of Asian Sunny Massage have denied any wrongdoing, as has Rep. Kind, who took it a step further and accused his opponent of “racism and insinuations” against the “Asian-owned small business” that rents his property in La Crosse.
Except, “racism” likely has nothing to do with Van Orden’s allegations amid a congressional campaign, and the “insinuations” are based on provable facts and a particular history at that specific location.
Breitbart recently published lengthy documentation of past local media reports dating from the 1970s-1980s that revealed that the property in question, 219 Pearl St., prior to being purchased by Kind in 1993, had on more than one occasion been operated as a massage parlor and busted by police as a “house of prostitution.”
Kind should be asking how own questions
No one is directly accusing Kind of engaging in or knowingly facilitating a massage parlor operating as a front for prostitution, and even if it is true that the business itself is engaged in illicit sex services, it is entirely possible that the congressman was completely unaware.
That said, given that he is the owner of the property, he does bear some level of responsibility for what occurs there, and rather than smear his opponent as racist for asking questions, he should be similarly concerned about what may have happened there, especially in light of the property’s history and current public perceptions.