Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spa owner arrested in "Operation Red Light" now running Portland strip club

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM

click to enlarge One of Westover's spas when it was in operation, from the street view of Google Maps.
One of Westover's spas when it was in operation, from the street view of Google Maps.

One of the men arrested in last year's "Operation Red Light" for allegedly running two fronts for prostitution in Spokane is on to a new business venture in Portland.

William Ray Westover, 41, was arrested in July after local police raided eight spas, including Westover's Asian Health Spa on N. Division and Far East Oriental Spa on E. Sprague.

Now, Portland's Willamette Week reports that Westover co-signed a lease for a building that's now home to a strip club (in true Portland fashion, it's a "juice bar with nude dancing"). The club seems to be operating legally so far, but is causing an uproar in the affluent neighborhood where it's located.

From the story: "In posh Laurelhurst, where homes near Diamonds are valued at more than $800,000, the new club is already unwelcome. Tanya Baikow-Smith, who lives less than a block from the club, wants it gone. 'It doesn’t bring the kind of people into the neighborhood that we want,' she says."

Police haven't yet charged Westover — or any of the others arrested in "Operation Red Light" — but his Spokane spas are now deserted.

After the raids last summer, we ran this cover story about whether the spa closures may have driven more prostitutes to the street and what that life is like. 

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About The Author

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...