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 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.