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, 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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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