Local massage therapist speaks out following DPS sting investigation

Local massage therapist speaks out following DPS sting investigation
Tree of Life Massage & Wellness
Tree of Life Massage & Wellness

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Randi Gutierrez has been a licensed massage therapist in Amarillo for 6 years. She describes massage therapy as her passion.

"It's the best job I've ever had," said Gutierrez. "You get to make a difference every single day."

It's a job she takes seriously. So, when she found out 52-year-old Xiaoyao Wang was arrested and charged with money laundering and aggravated promotion of prostitution following a multi- law enforcement investigation into several local massage parlors on Thursday,  it left her concerned.

She says there are times when people call her business looking for more than just a massage.

"They bring a bad name to the industry," said Gutierrez. "I was really frustrated with the woman and kind of disgusted with the fact that this was offered to our community and I was disgusted with the fact that there's such a market for it because it's just expanding and growing."

Especially because she works so hard to separate her business from others. She says she files extensive paper work, goes through background checks, re-news licensing, and continues education.

"We try to do everything right and then these businesses are able to operate and expand without any of the hoops that we have to jump through," said Gutierrez.

While she is angry over the stigma some people may have about massage therapy, Gutierrez has a genuine concern for the victims involved.

"It is a doorway for Human Trafficking and I feel like a lot of times it's not just prostitution, these woman are actually victims and they have been trafficked here," said Gutierrez.

To bring more awareness to the issue she suggest the public be more vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.

"We all have to work together and we all have to be aware and spread that awareness and bring light to the problem," said Gutierrez.

Copyright 2016 KFDA. All rights reserved.