Online advertisement led authorities to Kenai massage parlor

Police reports filed at the Kenai Courthouse offer more details into Thursday’s sex trafficking and prostitution arrests in Kenai.

Kenai Police Department officers arrested Karen Carpenter, who operated Gifted Hands Massage on Attla Way in Kenai, according to a press release. The 49-year-old Soldotna resident was charged with three counts of felony sex trafficking. Those charges were in the first, second and third degrees. She also was charged with misdemeanor prostitution.

Officers also arrested 19-year-old Adison Murrieta, of Kenai, for misdemeanor prostitution and issued a summons to 20-year-old Jonah Lange, of Ninilchik, for the same charge.

According to the police department’s affidavit, a local investigator received a call from the Anchorage Police Department on Dec. 12, 2012. An online advertisement had been found for a business in the Kenai area. The advertisement solicited an “erotic massage therapist,” and directed customers to contact business owner Karen Carpenter.

Further investigation by the Police Department revealed Carpenter had two women working for her, Miley and Kellie. Miley turned out to be Murrieta while Kellie was Lange, according to the affidavit.

The Kenai Court granted a search warrant, and an undercover officer visited the business on Jan. 9. Carpenter allegedly discussed the details of the operation to the officer during his visit. She explained she provided two services: massage and companionship packages. She said clients could do anything with their purchased time, including sexual intercourse, according to the affidavit.

Carpenter allegedly partook in the services as well. She said she had operated the business since fall 2012 and previously worked as a prostitute in Fairbanks. Carpenter does not have a criminal record in Alaska.

Then, another undercover officer visited the business the next day. He spoke with Carpenter and Murrieta; they agreed to perform sexual acts for $400 for one hour, according to the affidavit.

In a separate interview with police, Lange allegedly admitted to performing sexual acts for money on two occasions.

Carpenter pleaded not guilty during a Jan. 11 arraignment in Kenai. The court did not set bail in Carpenter’s case. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 22.

Carpenter cannot have contact with her employees or former clients.

The police department said the investigation is ongoing.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at jerzy.shedlock@peninsulaclarion.com.

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