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The owner of two Spokane businesses suspected of being prostitution fronts was released from jail Thursday after being arrested Wednesday.
William R. Westover, 41, faces money laundering and promoting prostitution charges after a 14-month investigation culminated in raids at eight suspected brothels.
Westover owns the Far East Oriental Spa, 213 E. Sprague Ave., and the Asian Spa, 3130 N. Division St. Investigators with the Airway Heights Police Department developed confidential informants after a prostitution sting at Northern Quest Casino.
One of those informants applied for jobs with Westover and told detectives he had her display her naked breasts. Another informant said she gave Westover a massage and had sex with him, accepted payment, then declined his job offer.
Also, according to court documents, "during an interview with a confidential informant, Westover told the confidential informant that she could use a condom for a client the first time she saw the client but was not permitted after that."
Police reviewed Westover's bank records and found he'd made 41 large deposits between January 2010 and April 2012 totally $165,000.
Six people connected to five other suspected brothels were released from jail Wednesday.
Five women and one man arrested in a sweeping anti-prostitution investigation at Spokane-area spas and massage parlors have been released from jail.
The suspects, who own four of eight suspected brothels raided Tuesday, have no criminal records and were allowed to leave without posting bond. Prosecutors did not object to their release, and they were ordered to return to court July 23 to be arraigned on charges of second-degree promoting prostitution and money laundering
Eight suspected brothels, including the Oriental Spa South at 515 S. Maple Ave., were raided across the Spokane area Tuesday by a multi-agency law enforcement task force. (SRphoto/Colin Mulvany)
A yearlong investigation into widespread prostitution in Spokane County culminated Tuesday with raids at eight suspected brothels in what authorities say is an attempt to permanently close the longtime businesses.
Complaints from Northern Quest Casino officials about prostitution activity prompted the Airway Heights Police Department to conduct undercover strings of suspected prostitutes who in turn agreed to work as confidential informants.