Accused madam: My work is spiritual
May 22, 2009
By Martha Kang
SEATTLE -- The woman accused of running several brothels in the area says her "work is spiritual in nature and that's what the men are seeking," according to the statement of probable cause.
Rainbow Love, who was formerly known as Vivian W. Ellis, was arrested at her Marysville home during a police raid on Thursday. She is being held under investigation of promoting prostitution and money laundering.
Love appeared in court on Friday, and bail was set at $15,000.
Investigators said a tip from a former employee of one of Love's alleged brothels triggered a 10-month investigation into the woman's three businesses -- Sacred Temple in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood, Moon Temple in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood and Moon Temple in Kirkland.
Sacred Temple's Web site described the business as a Tantric type of massage parlor where the men reviewing the girls say they had been sexually satisfied during their sessions, the document said. The site has been "temporarily off line" since Thursday.
During the investigation, undercover detectives patronized the business at 3107 Eastlake Avenue East and were offered and agreed to sexual acts in exchange for $150 cash, the document said.
A female undercover detective applied for a job at Love's business at 10018 Greenwood Avenue North. During the interview, Love told the detective that the shop's male clients expect to be sexually satisfied in exchange for $150 cash, and that employees were "expected to touch every part of the customer's body in the session," according to the statement.
Love said her employees kept $100 of the fee, while $40 went to the house and the remaining $10 to the receptionist.
Investigators said Love used to own another massage shop called the Moon Temple in Renton, which had been raided and shut down by Renton police for prostitution. According to a posting by Love on an adult services review site, the owner said she planned to move the business due to unwanted attention from law enforcement officials.
In November 2008, Love opened up another Moon Temple location at 720 Eighth Avenue in Kirkland, as well as the Seattle Moon Temple in Greenwood.
Love told detectives that she is the sole owner of the three businesses under investigation, which she ran under the license name the Light Body Temple.
Love refused to acknowledge the conversation she'd had with undercover detectives who'd sought service at the businesses, but did admit she knew some of her employees "may do more than a healing session with the clients," the statement said. She added some of her employees have more energy than others, and "what they do with the men is their business."
The owner said she listed her income at roughly $300,000 on her most recent tax report. Most of the money went toward rent, including the $7,200 per month she paid for her Eastlake space, she said.
On Thursday officers served search warrants at all three of the suspected brothels, as well as Love's home in the 3700 block of 103rd Street Northeast in Marysville.
Investigators questioned 18 women and four suspected Johns, one of whom was jailed on an unrelated warrant.
Detectives said more arrests could follow.