KHOU: Hundreds of suspected illegal massage businesses found near Harris County schools


Across Texas, Children At Risk has found hundreds of suspected illegal massage businesses near schools. They want to put an end to these type of illicit businesses.

Author: KHOU

April 12, 2018

Houston - Around 16,000 kids in Harris County go to school within 1,000 feet of a suspected illegal massage business.

That’s according to Children At Risk, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the most vulnerable in this community.

The nonprofit released its findings on how close some local schools are to these type of businesses.

For instance, Edgar Allan Poe Elementary in Houston is identified as one of several schools to be within 1,000 feet of a suspected illegal massage business

Dr. Bob Sanborn, president and CEO of Children At Risk, wants to work with parents and law enforcement to shut them down.

“I think seeing that we have schools that are right next to these places or right across the street, to me that is very scary,” Dr. Sanborn exclaimed.

Children At Risk wants to make sure children in Texas are safe from what they call human trafficking operations.’

The organization has identified suspected illegal massage businesses and their proximity to schools.

The nonprofit used reviews left on, a Yelp style website where customers can leave their reviews, to identify the businesses.

Dr. Sanborn said, “What happens is people go to these places and they decide to write a review and they become very detailed in their reviews and we’re able to use that so we know what’s happening in these places.”

Children At Risk stated Harris County has the largest concentration of suspected illegal massages businesses in the state with 259.

Dallas County came in second with 97.

The nonprofit claimed 55 Texas schools are within 1,000 feet of one of these businesses and 23 of them are in Harris County.

Dr. Sanborn wants to the community’s help to push these type of businesses out.

“We really want the public to put pressure on law enforcement,” Dr. Sanborn said. “To put pressure on public officials to say I don’t want one of these places near my school. I don’t want my children walking by these places. Let’s shut them down.”

The analysis also found many of these suspected businesses are not found in neighborhoods with high crime or poverty rates but in affluent neighborhoods with higher than average household incomes.