Websites becoming more popular for illegal activity

Police: Owners at Illusions Day Spa also running an escort service
Police: Owners at Illusions Day Spa also running an escort service

Days after a valley day spa is raided, the business remains closed.

The owner of Illusions Day Spa, Ann Higdon, and her daughter Patricia Hall were both arrested this week and charged with prostitution.

While police say the women were running an escort service out of their business, they were also offering services on-line.

One founder of an online dating services says his business is legitimate and he's even had authorities take a look at the site to make sure there's nothing wrong with what he's doing.

But some say there's a fine line between right and wrong. Reports show Illusion's website likely brought in many customers.

Huntsville Police call it modern day prostitution.

"Its a lot easier for customers and or the escort people to make their services available," said Huntsville Police Sergeant Mark Roberts.

They say its hard to tell legal matchmaking services from prostitution sites.

Brandon Wade, operates one of the legal dating services.

"The basic concept of this is very simple. You will see men and women who advertise selling the date or buying dates. The dates range from 20.00 to 100.00," said website founder, Brandon Wade.

But doesn't that sound like a version of prostitution rather than a match making opportunity?

"First of all you have to decide am I a generous member or an attractive member? A generous member is one who will be buying the date an attractive member is someone who will be selling the date."

Wade says he's not running an escort business, he's simply giving people an avenue to find love.

But police warn websites aren't always what they appear.

Huntsville Police say they do monitor online websites that sell sex, but they say those sights often change and its hard to keep track of them all.

Police say prostitution at Illusions Day Spa was also being promoted through a website called "Bama Friends."

That site and Illusions has since been shut down.

The Alabama Board of Massage Therapy says arrests like the ones at Illusions Day Spa gives the whole industry a "black eye."

There are currently 1,400 licensed massage therapists working in Alabama.

Sexual contact with clients is forbidden.

State officials say 650 hours of training from a state recognized massage therapy school are required.

Therapists also have to pass the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work.

And they must carry a million dollars in personal liability insurance.

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