Even if Mari was making use of the building’s rooftop gym, such activities suggest that, at the very least, she wasn’t captive and could have reached out for help in some way had she wanted to. This interpretation is further supported by the fact that these women had internet-enabled phones, which they were able to use freely.
“They talked about going shopping, their favorite restaurants,” one former client, who asked to remain anonymous, told me. “Their English was fine.” Many came over on student visas, with the goal of making cash quickly in the sex trade before heading back to Korea, he said. One K-Girl who always took great pride in her nails told him she was saving up to open a nail salon and body-waxing spa back home.
“Migrant sex workers, especially Asian migrant workers, are often inaccurately labeled as trafficking victims,” Savannah Sly, board president for the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), cautioned in a statement at the time of the bust. “Just because a women came to the U.”
Police documents also click here now indicate that women who advertised on TRB, including K-Girls, set different prices, had different boundaries, and offered differing levels of sexual activity
There’s little in police charging documents to suggest Seattle K-Girls were powerless over how long they stayed in the area. Yes, they frequently told customers they weren’t sure how long they would stick around. But although this could be a sign someone is pulling the strings elsewhere, it could just as easily mean that they don’t think it’s the client’s business, that it depends on how long the agency will let them, or-the reason they’re most often reported to give-that it depends how business goes.
TRB reviews included in police documents further indicate that K-Girls had their own motivations for staying or going. A review of “Ace K” says “she will be leaving the 29th… The weather is getting her down (‘I’m an LA girl’) so she said she will restrict her visits to the warmer months in the future.” A TRB post from user “ItsMe” states that he asked “Angel” when she would return to Seattle “and she said she doesn’t like this cold, wet weather, so it might be later when the weather gets nicer.” A email from “Spider Rico” to some other League members claims K-girl “Asuka” told him she didn’t like Dallas because it has “bugs the size of dogs. She is slow but wants to stay in Bellevue because it’s clean, she said.”
Remember that police claim to have thousands of emails, posts, and private communications between those charged to choose from. The few hundred they included in court documents (from which these quotes are drawn) are what they describe as “representative examples.” And while there are some reports of new K-Girls saying they are nervous, or seeming to clients like they don’t want to be there, such statements are rare.
But the key to painting League members as traffickers and abusers lies in framing all sex workers as victims
For League members, these were limits to be staunchly respected. A “Code of Conduct” states that individuals will be blacklisted if they don’t use condoms, take a shower and use mouthwash at the start of each appointment, respect individual boundaries, and remember that no means no.
“Keep in mind she is a professional provider and it is important to recognize that the menu of activities that is offered varies from one provider to another and from one client to another,” the code states.
That seems rather gentlemanly-perhaps even feminist?-for a bunch of men who allegedly get off on “abus[ing] these vulnerable young women,” as King County Prosecutor Satterberg put it. If you understand the K-Girls and others who advertised on TRB as individuals with choice and agency, the men who paid them for sex are no more abusers than you or I when we pay someone to watch our kids, listen to us talk about problems, or fix our cars.