Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is suing four massage businesses he contends solicit prostitution.

On Tuesday, April 6, Schmitt said he is suing Ella's Asian Massage in Clay County, A Little Massage in Laclede County, Shangri-La Massage in Jackson County and Blue Lotus Asian Massage in Cole County.

His office seeks injunctions to close the locations, which the attorney general said violate public nuisance laws. Schmitt said the businesses advertise on online sites that solicit prostitution with two of the businesses also having reviews on message boards that describe sex acts provided at the businesses.

Landlords of the property where the businesses are located, Schmitt said, either did not respond to or were uncooperative with contacts from his office.

The lawsuits are part of Schmitt's Hope Initiative, launched in October to crack down on illicit massage parlors in the state.

"With these filings, we're sending a clear message to (human) traffickers: you are not welcome in the state of Missouri and you will not be able to hide with impunity any longer. We are coming for you," he said.

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