90 days in jail begins for massage parlor business owner

Brett Allan Labrum stands before Judge Eric Ludlow in 5th District Court to enter a guilty plea to prostitute exploitation, sexual solicitation and operating a business without proper licenses, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah court pool, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George businessman and Washington City resident will serve 90 days in jail according to a sentencing agreement after striking a deal with prosecutors in a case involving sex crimes at two local massage parlors.

Brett Allan Labrum stands with his attorney Jay Winward before Judge Eric Ludlow in 5th District Court to enter a guilty plea to prostitute exploitation, sexual solicitation and operating a business without proper licenses, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah court pool, St. George News

Brett Allan Labrum, 48, entered a guilty plea Monday in 5th District Court to two third-degree felony counts of exploiting a prostitute, two class A misdemeanor counts of operating a business without proper licensing and three class B misdemeanor counts of sexual solicitation.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop nine other charges against Labrum including a felony count of forcible sex abuse, six misdemeanor counts of lewdness and two misdemeanor counts of sexual solicitation. The state also agreed not to file any additional charges.

Judge Eric Ludlow called for Labrum to serve the maximum statutory sentence for the crimes but stayed the execution of the sentence, placing Labrum on 36 months of bench probation instead. Labrum will also be required to pay a $2,500 fine and complete a “life skills” course.

Labrum was ordered to report to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility by 5 p.m. Monday to serve out his 90-day sentence.

Judge Eric Ludlow of the 5th District Court, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah court pool, St. George News

While incarcerated, Ludlow said the court will grant Labrum a 24-hour furlough in which he can leave jail to attend the birth of his grandchild.

Labrum was arrested Feb. 8 in connection with an investigation of five Washington County massage parlors allegedly involved in criminal activity.

As part of a multiagency operation and investigation into prostitution, sexual solicitation and Utah business license violations, search warrants were served on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11 at Japan Massage, Golden Coast Massage and Massage Therapy, each located in St. George, along with Dixie Massage, with locations in both St. George and Washington City.

Read more: Law enforcement converges on 4 St. George massage parlors

Authorities arrested Labrum – who was determined to be the owner of both Dixie Massage business operations – after analyzing data and evidence collected at the two parlors and conducting interviews.

Brett Allan Labrum, of Washington City, booking photo posted Feb. 8, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

An investigation into Dixie Massage, 225 N. Bluff St. in St. George, was initiated in June 2016 after information was gathered indicating sex acts had been taking place in the establishment, according to Utah court documents.

Authorities then began investigating a second establishment located at 43 N. 300 West in Washington City belonging to Labrum.

“Investigators sent multiple undercover officers into both establishments posing as clients seeking body massages,” according to court documents. “During the undercover operations, the officers were able to negotiate sex acts in exchange for money. The acts were declined by the undercover officers.”

When investigators executed search warrants on both massage parlors Jan. 10, Labrum was questioned and reportedly told police he had purchased Dixie Massage in September 2016 and that there were four Asian female employees that worked there as needed.

“He further admitted to scheduling all appointments for the employees knowing they were not licensed to be giving full body massages,” court documents state. “Labrum denied any knowledge of sex acts occurring in his establishment.”

Read more: Police arrest St. George businessman in connection with massage parlor sting

Authorities questioned the Asian women working at the establishment. One of the women reportedly told investigators that on five different occasions prior to Labrum buying the establishment, he requested she perform a sexual act on him.

The woman told police she declined Labrum’s request which, she alleged, prompted Labrum to perform the sex act on himself in front of her. This allegation is the basis of the lewdness charge against Labrum.

A second woman told police about two interactions with Labrum, one while he was a client and one while he was the owner.

During the first incident, the woman allegedly told police she was giving Labrum a massage when he grabbed her hand and placed it on his genitalia, but she pulled her hand away, according to court documents. The woman told police the second incident occurred when Labrum allegedly performed a sex act on himself in front of her.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • desertgirl August 1, 2017 at 8:30 am

    So the authorities think a ‘life skills’ course and a $2500 fine is going to make a citizen out of this guy? Or they don’t care.

    • DRT August 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

      A … judge? Or just a crook?
      Ed. ellipsis.

    • ladybugavenger August 1, 2017 at 10:07 am

      i would choose: they don’t care.
      Labrum is not an uneducated or a stupid man. He knew exactly what he was doing. Just like the plygs knew what they were doing with their food stamp fraud. Life courses? Food stamp courses? What a waste of resources.

  • Caveat_Emptor August 1, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Perhaps we could have finished off this article right after the cross-reference to the prior article which announced his arrest………
    Not sure of the demographics of the readership, but I guess it falls into the category of “too much information” for many.

    • asianspa August 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Well I think the article wanted to have a strong finish! If people in the community cant handle the truth and really learning what is going on with the community then it is time to make some tough decisions because these problems are here and with such light punishment there will only be more of this type of activity coming. This sentencing was a time to make an example of someone and send a message… we did that and unfortunately it is the wrong one.

  • ladybugavenger August 1, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Glad to see that smirk wiped off his face

  • asianspa August 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I am absolutely disgusted with this wrist slap of a sentence!! One of these fine establishments is open again and the ads are posted so someone along the lines has came in where this guy left off. I remember a few months ago we had a local girl go missing and it was suspected that she was being abused, human trafficked, and so forth. We got a nice onslaught of tear jerker and anger inducing media regarding these young victims of human trafficking. I don’t want to see the police on these news reports spouting tough guy lines and acting like they take these crimes seriously because it is quite obvious at this point they dont take it seriously.

    This guy gets a 24 hour furlough to see the birth of a grandchild?? Why even sentence him at all because apparently we want no punishment aspect in this “sentencing”. I am very confused here, you commit a crime and go to jail and yeah you might miss some things you want to see and aspects of your life that you enjoy will be diminished, isn’t that kind of the point??? Is the judge trying to punish this guy or just send him to the Purgatory Bed and Breakfast??

    • comments August 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      I’m not interested enough to did into the fine details, but my guess is the light sentence (wrist slap) is because he’s a temple worthy LDS mormon. Yes, he was basically running a prostitution wring, but he’s mormon so he must be a good guy, right? It pays to know the right people and be LDS in this state. You can get away with a lot.

  • DimpleDell August 1, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Not even close to adequate punishment. Ridiculous

  • Mean Momma August 1, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Does anyone else find it appalling that he gets to get out to see the birth of a grandchild??? I find that totally ridiculous! This guy is disgusting and seems to be on the sexual predator spectrum… keep him in jail for his full (yet ridiculously easy) sentence, NO SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS!

  • Dolly August 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Hmmm. Judges in this state are either guilty of bribes or protecting their “own”. It seems you never see a sentence in Utah commensurate with the crime. Just disgusting!

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