Five men have been charged with engaging in prostitution linked to a sex trafficking case that involved a Kenai massage business.
The charges are a result of a 2012 investigation by the Kenai Police Department of a prostitution ring organized by Karen Carpenter, who operated Gifted Hands Massage on Attla Way in Kenai.
According to a Sept. 5 press release from the Alaska Department of Law, Pat Hill, 59, of Soldotna, Dan Brown, 52, of Kasilof, Justin Morris, 29, of Kenai, Michael Dimmik, 72, of Kenai, and Jason Moore, 34, of Anchorage, have been charged with prostitution for offering money in exchange for sexual contact.
The men are scheduled to be arraigned in Kenai District Court today.
Last November, a jury found Carpenter, 51, guilty on two counts of second-degree sex trafficking for running an enterprise and procuring customers, and three counts of third-degree sex trafficking for running a place of prostitution, accepting proceeds and facilitating prostitution.
Carpenter was sentenced to three years in prison with 720 days suspended for the four felony counts and 30 days in jail on a misdemeanor count of prostitution. Carpenter is now out on parole.
Kenai Police began the investigation in 2012 after receiving a tip about an online advertisement from a Kenai massage parlor that solicited an “erotic massage therapist,” according to a police affidavit.
Engaging in prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor and each defendant faces a maximum 90 days in jail and fine of up to $2,000 if convicted.
Kenai Investigator Paul Cushman served each misdemeanor to the five men between Aug. 16 to Aug. 21. Cushman was not available for comment by press time, and Kenai Police Chief Gus Sandahl said the department has not yet issued a press release with an update to the investigation.
Along with Carpenter, Kenai Police arrested two women who worked at the massage parlor, Madison Murrieta, 21, of Kenai, and Jonah Lange, 22, of Ninilchik, in January of 2013 for misdemeanor prostitution.
According to a police affidavit, an undercover officer visited the business on Jan. 9, 2013 after obtaining a search warrant. Kenai police alleged Carpenter discussed the details of the operation to the officer during his visit. She said clients could do anything with their purchased time, including sexual intercourse, according to the affidavit.
Another undercover officer visited the business the next day. He spoke with Carpenter and Murrieta and they agreed to perform sexual acts for $400 for one hour. In a separate interview with police, Lange allegedly admitted to performing sexual acts for money on two occasions, according to the affidavit.
Murrieta and Lange each plead guilty and were sentenced to one year of probation last year.
Reach Dan Balmer at email@example.com.