While some progress has been made China Massage remains open for business. Dennis Weestrand is still unwilling to evict the business. He has now progressed to the point where he is claiming that he will not renew China Massage’s lease. While this is progress, it is not nearly good enough that crime be allowed to continue for months longer.
Here is a link to last night’s ABC New coverage.
Dennis Weestrand: Knowingly earning rent profits from prostitution related businesses in Rochester is unacceptable.
Some good news: I have been informed that a person who may be a victim of human sex trafficking has been taking in by a twin cities non-profit that deals with such victims.
Dennis Weestrand’s victims also include many of the legitimate businesses that share the building with China Massage. One owner told me of how Weestrand’s decision to allow China Massage to remain in business has hurt their own business. Complaints were first made 6 months ago, but Weestrand has insinuated that he never had a complaint until 2 days ago. Among the very good and completely innocent businesses that are made victims of this situation include Southwest Chiropractic, SEIU Healthcare, Midwest Dental, Jackson-Hewwitt Tax Service, and others. I have had good discussions with many business owners and received much encouragement. These business in many cases have been calling and cooperating with the police.
Dennis Weestrand accused the Rochester Police Department of racial profiling to one business owner. I do not believe that this is even remotely true and would request that Mr. Weestrand either back up or retract that charge.
I have been asked this and have an answer:
Q: What about “innocent until proven guilty”
Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is something I strongly believe, in a criminal matter. While there may be criminal proceedings, this is also a civil matter. If a kindergarten teacher was charged with molesting children, we would not allow them to continue teaching until their case was resolved a year or two later. Just the same in this case there are serious vitims and we accordingly should also not let that continue. Unless of course you take the position that neither sex trafficking or prostitution are serious.
Further in civil matters the bar for proof is lower and since evidence was gathered via police sting operations you can imagine why no reasonable person has doubts about the nature of the crimes taking place. Based on discussion with the Rochester Police Department I have absolutely no doubt.
Further in cases of prostitution, other arrangements are sometimes made that prevent cases from going to trial.
None of these items change the fact that China Massage should have been shut down immediately much like another such business on Elton Hills Drive was (by a responsible landlord).
I have also received information that the owner of China Massage may be trying to open another massage place in soldier’s field plaza. I will attempt to find the name of that owner and inform him / her of the situation.
Thank you all for the incredible support.
-Rochester City Councilman Michael Wojcik