Massage therapy business in Charleston operated as brothel, SLED says

State News

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A massage parlor in Charleston County has been busted for allegedly operating as a brothel, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.

SLED agents charged a Beaufort County woman for operating the massage parlor that permitted commercial sex activity.

The business, Oriental Massage Therapy, located on Ashley River Road in Charleston County, also operated within close proximity of a public childcare facility.

Lina Tan Driggers, 58, was charged with operating a brothel and commission of offenses within 100 yards of a childcare facility, SLED stated.

The investigation was requested by the Summerville Police Department. According to warrant affidavits, the Charleston Police Department received an anonymous complaint through Crime Stoppers in February 2020 that they were a family member of a current employee — that person said their family member was recruited to work at the business through a Chinese newspaper for the position of masseuse.

“The family member responded to the ad and began to work at the business, at which time their passport was taken, and they were forced to complete sexual acts with clients,” the affidavit stated.

Charleston PD detectives reported that between March 16, 2020, and June 28, 2021, they conducted multiple surveillance operations at the massage parlor. “They reported that the clientele for the business appeared to be all adult males, visited the location individually, and frequently exceeded the normal allotted times for similarly advertised message serves at reputable massage locations.”

Detectives also conducted lawful traffic stops on customers as they left the business. One customer told investigators that he frequented the business because it was known for the solicitation of prostitution.

A search warrant was conducted at the business on October 6, 2021, where SLED agents say they encountered a “John” who admitted post-Miranda that he paid for a sexual act from two of the employees.

Driggers has been booked into the Al Cannon Detention Center.

A sign on the front door of the business said it has been deemed unsafe by the Charleston Fire Department over multiple fire code violations, and work done without a permit. The latest inspection happened on October 7th.

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