On a controversial website called Rubmaps.com, they described their sexual experiences in detail, including how much they paid, what services they received and their level of satisfaction with the women’s performance.
“These are reviews on victims of human trafficking,’’ said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office led the investigation into the alleged sex traffickers who ran centers in Hadley, East Longmeadow and Framingham. It’s just truly appalling.” The now-closed Hadley Massage Therapy is one of hundreds of erotic massage centers described on in Massachusetts alone — and there are some 7,000 nationwide.
Related: Read the first three stories of the five-part series: Illicit massage parlors are across Massachusetts. and The women behind closed doors and The men who fuel the erotic massage industry.
Healey said her office will continue to go after the massage businesses described on the review boards.
But, even though law enforcement officials can easily find other suspected sex trafficking operations on and other so-called “John boards,” listings on these sites seldom lead to prosecution.
Most of them have a high school education and limited English, and many of them had children overseas.
The site, registered to a Georgios Veniaminidis based in Cyprus, is careful to distance itself from illegal activities.
An online company statement maintains that the website is “100% user-generated,’’ and it is unknown whether reviews or addresses are accurate.
"They're much more abusive than people realize, and much more prevalent than people realize," he said.
"Now that we know the truth, we hope that people have a stronger response." The state Attorney General's Office has in recent years made cracking down on human trafficking a priority, with an extensive advertising campaign and annual awareness events.