Jefferson City, Missouri (KMIZ)
A Cole County judge dismissed a lawsuit against a Jefferson City massage business alleging unlawful sexual activity.
Judge Cotton Walker ruled in favor of Blue Lotus Asian Massage Therapy and owner William Porter on Friday. The company is located at 1801 Stadium Blvd. in Jefferson City.
The Missouri attorney general’s office failed to provide evidence to support the business’s claim that it promoted prostitution in a civil lawsuit filed in April 2021, according to court documents.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt set out the allegations in a September 2021 letter to Stadium Drive’s owner, Tuebner Properties, LLC. Schmidt is asking the owners to take action against the massage business to stop the alleged illegal activity.
Tuebner Properties, LLC was removed from the case in July 2021.
According to the judgment, Schmidt failed to prove that Porter was responsible for online posts suggesting that the massage parlor offered sexual services. After learning of the allegations, the judgment said Porter tried unsuccessfully to remove some of the posts from the internet.
No staff or customers of Blue Lotus Asian Massage Therapy have been arrested or summoned, according to court documents. The judgment also noted that the company used workers licensed to provide massage services through the Missouri Massage Therapy Board.
Porter’s attorney, David Bandre, said State AG’s lawsuit should not have been brought against the massage business.
The Missouri general’s office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.
Walker ordered the Missouri attorney general’s office to pay court costs. Each party was responsible for paying its own legal costs, according to the judgment.