this is "nightline." >> tonight, sex buyers beware. >> put your hands on top of your head. >> an unprecedented sting operation. police busting users of online prostitution review sites. >> yelp for prostitution. >> inside the secretive illicit sex trade. >> i'd ask my clients if you'd like to relieve her. >> an aim to ending the oldest profession. paradise lost. speaking tout to e news about the show-stopping scandal. >> that night was probably the wildest night of my entire life. like we went for it. >> what he says really happened. swift comeback. ♪ ♪ players are gonna play to play play to play ♪ >> shaking off taylor swift.
emerging from months of social media absence to congratulate nba mvp russell westbrook. the fake back story about their decades of friendship. first the "nightline 5." >> introducing the toothpaste that helps prevent bleeding gums. if you spit blood you may have gum problems and could be on the journey to much worse. help stop the journey of gum disease. looking for balance in your digestive system? align probiotic for a nonstop sweet treat goodness hold on to your tiara kind of day. get 24/7 digestive support with align. also in kids' chewables. >> number one in just 60 seconds.
thank you for joining us. we're about to go inside an undercover infiltration, police infiltrating and arresting a group of men, including some high-power tech executives, for arranging prostitutes on internet message boards. many women are trapped in a world of sex trafficking by debt and fear. tonight we explore the struggle to protect them from exploitation by holding the buyers accountable. here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> reporter: it may seem like an ordinary guy easy out, complete with nachos and beer. but this is an undercover operation. a seattle police officer infiltrating an exclusive group that calls themselves the league of extraordinary gentlemen. police say their common interest, korean prostitutes. also known as k-girls. you're about to witness an unprecedented prostitution sting. >> everybody put your hands on top of your head. put your hands on top of your
head, do it now. >> reporter: one that uncovered a secret network of online review boards. websites for rating and recommending local prostitutes. what district attorney val ritchie calls -- >> yelp for prostitution. >> she was taller than the 5'3" advertised, really 5'7", 120 pounds. wonderful, natural c cups and full hips -- >> reporter: website users caught in the drag net, tech executives and white collar professionals from an amazon software develop tore a high-level microsoft director. >> we calculated they were spending $30,000 to $50,000 a year on this. >> it's a simple to use website. you can look at the girl. okay, that girl looks interesting. you can go to her reviews, see if she is providing the services that you want. >> tattoos, piercings, no scars, moles. >> reporter: prostitution review websites are a prolific corner of the illicit online sex trade. tna review, the erollic review,
cover just about every city in america, complete with customer reviews and often escort ads. but not all of these online communities ever end up meeting in real life. what surprised you most about the guys that you were meeting up with? >> i guess the fact that they were just -- they were like the people living next door. >> reporter: the undercover detective who infiltrated this group has asked us not to show his full face. >> everybody would order drinks, eat food, talk about, you know -- the latest prostitute that they've had sex with and you know, trends going on. >> reporter: parts of these conversations so sexually graphic, we can't air them. >> there were waitresses that were -- seemed a little offended. >> reporter: the police investigation resulted in the shutdown of three websites. the review board and its two korean-focused offshoots, the
league and k-girl delights, as well as controversial charges for some of the men caught in the dragnet. >> we have charged the people who were putting the content on the website with a felony charge of promoting prostitution. >> and so in what way does that promote prostitution? in what way is that pimping? >> the men post reviews and share information. so it goes beyond just a review. and then on to a recommendation. you have to go see this person, she's amazing, go see her before she leaves. >> creating demand? >> exactly. >> reporter: felony pimping charges for posting reviews on a website has never been attempted before in the u.s. for valiant ritchie -- valiant is his real name -- it's a focus on demand, not supply. >> our understanding of people in prostitution based on years of experience is that most people in prostitution are exploited. and so criminalizing them doesn't work from a criminal justice perspective. at the same time we understand that the exploitation that is
driven through sex buying is caused by the buyer. the buyer needs to be held be theable. >> reporter: there are many who strongly disagree, including unsurprisingly the men involved in the sites. but all declined to speak with us on camera. the argument though being you sacrifice these men's lives in order to further your career, to get the headlines, to get the national attention. >> the main focus for us is on dismantling these networks of buyers who are creating this vociferous demand for exploited women. >> reporter: we've come to bellevue, seattle's wealthiest suburb. hermes, prada. to learn more about the korean prostitution ring here and why some say this case could change the way sex buyers are prosecuted across the country. the idea broth they wills were being operated out of this upscale, suburban apartment building, lots of fancy people in the area who have no idea that sex is being sold right next door.
there were several korean brothels raided in this case. the 12 women found inside release the without charges. described by police as trafficked. we tried to track them down but they seem to have scattered to the wind. it is really hard to get a genuine glimpse inside one of these korean brothels. no one will talk to you, no one will admit to anything, because there's too much fear. tiers too much shame. there's too much criminality. we went to a guy who ran one of these brothels. he actually agreed to talk to us. michael durnel managed -- >> he's opening the door, hi. >> reporter: -- two of the bellevue broth they willed. when they were busted he served 45 days in prison. how do you go from a guy with a wife and a kid to suddenly running a brothel? >> i was a client. to me it was that excuse, you know. i'm paying for it, it's not cheating. >> reporter: durnel says he fell in love with a korean prostitute who told him she was in debt back home. so he says he decided to help her. he left his family and job and
they opened up a brothel together. the one to the right? >> yes. >> the big gleaming skyscraper, that's the brothel? >> that's one of them, yeah. >> you were booking clients to sleep with prostitutes? >> correct. >> that fits the definition of a pimp, doesn't it? >> i guess it does. >> my understanding is that you heard a lot of stories that you say broke your heart. >> there's a lot of different stories on why people come over and do that, that job. some of them just want to start a business. some of them, their families will get hurt or death. one girl, i asked her why she doesn't just run, and she says she tried. and they find them. >> reporter: durnel repeatedly told us he deeply regrets his choices, because he saw firsthand the damage it did. >> you feel like the piece of the soul for the girl is gone. >> reporter: while he says he was never personally involved with the review board or any site, he says many of his clients were avid users. >> i would ask my clients if you liked her, review her.
>> reporter: when it comes to the police sting that took down those sites and his brothels with it, durnel has his criticisms. >> they said they rescued all these women. they said that people were holding them captive. this came out of law enforcement's mouth. who did they save? every girl they let go, every girl's back in the business. they just go someplace else. >> you think these women are doing it voluntarily? >> well -- it depends on what you're looking at as voluntarily. i mean, they're moving on their own. nobody's holding their passports. >> yet isn't the fear and the debt that you just described to me holding them cap sniff. >> correct, yes. but again, it's not all these girls are being held like that either. >> how do you know which ones are and aren't? >> you don't. >> reporter: brad miles of the anti-trafficking group polaris says debt bondage is a common factor in the korean networks. >> debt bondage is different from debt. it's a particular type of predatory, manipulative debt
where fees and interest rates and other hidden costs and all these other things kick into gear so that the person, the debt grows faster than the person can pay it off. then you have these customers who think that the women are there voluntarily but the customers don't understand the full picture. >> reporter: we did meet with seattle-based sex worker who's speaking out in support of the review sites. >> the work room is in the back. >> this is where you see clients? >> this is where i see clients. usually the light is more like -- this. >> reporter: magny mcneil, a popular sex work blogger, says the sites provide a valuable safety tool. why does it make it safer to book somebody online? people are afraid to sell their pianos online, why would selling sex be safe? >> because of reputation. ebay, if somebody's got 98% positive reviews on ebay as a buyer or seller, that lets you have confidence in dealing with
that person. >> reporter: alisa bernard, who calls herself a prostitution survivor turned activist, says she knows firsthand review boards don't make things any safer. >> i had been raped multiple times. held against my will at least once. i was strangled. these were all by review board guys. you know. again, your line keeps getting pushed further and further and further to get those good reviews. >> because you're afraid of a bad review? >> a negative review could get you kicked off the board. >> reporter: while the debate continues, prosecutor val ritchie is showing no signs of stop. in fact, nearly a dozen more men have been arraigned as part of the review board investigation. ritchie's mission, to end sex buying altogether. this is the oldest profession. how can you possibly hope to eliminate it? >> i would argue that it's the oldest oppression. and that the one way we can try to eliminate it is by helping men realize that this isn't serving them either.
>> reporter: ritchie travels across the u.s., telling other states' attorneys about demand-based prosecution. his hope, that they too will take on similar cases. >> it would be a great step forward in reducing nationwide exploitation if those review boards did not exist. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang in bellevue, washington. >> our thanks to ju ju for that report. next, "bachelor in paradise" contestant demario jackson addressing allegations of on-set sexual misconduct. how he thinks his race is shaping public opinion. it's here, but it's going by fast. the opportunity of the year is back: the mercedes-benz summer event. get to your dealer today for incredible once-a-season offers, and start firing up those grilles. lease the e300 for $569 a month
at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. with my moderate to severe crohn's disease,... ...i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay... then it hit me... ...managing was all doing. when i told my doctor,... ...i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease... ...even after trying other medications. in clinical studies,... the majority of people on humira... saw significant symptom relief... ...and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability... ...to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened;... ...as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure.
before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where... ...certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb,... ...hepatitis b, are prone to infections,... ...or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. just managing your symptoms? ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible.
"bachelor in paradise" contestant demario jackson now addressing in detail the allegations of sexual misconduct to put a pause in the show's production. jackson was cast as the villain in the current season of "the bachelorette," now he worries it may be happening in real life saying his character has been assassinated. >> every man's biggest fear. no man wants to be attached to that. that ruins you for >> reporter: it's the ongoing saga for demaremario jackson, finally speaking out about the scandal on the set of "bachelor in paradise." in a show known for racy plot lines this upcoming season of the spinoff of "the bachelor" and "the bachelorette" was going to feature fan favorite corinne demarre yoes and demario jackson. it was during a taping for "bachelor in paradise" jackson and olympios hit troubled
waters. saying an encounter taped by tv crews prompted a complaint after a producer filed a complaint. >> the first conversation at the bar, really like friends. then we started having a little bit more fun. had a few drinks. things got wild because it was more of like her being like the aggressor. which was like sexy. that night was probably the wildest night of my entire life. we went for it. >> reporter: tonight jackson going further about how he says race helped fuel the controversy. >> the minute you release this black man's face and this white girl's face. before either of us commented on it, i was already like a rapist and excuse my french a [ bleep ] monkey, and she's a whore and a slut, they were slut shaming her because of what she did last season with nick. to me, it was back to the human race, like we failed. >> reporter: production halted with allegations by a show
producer 24-year-old olympios was too drunk to consent, something jackson has repeatedly denied. "we take all such allegations seriously. the safety, security and well-being of the cast and crew is our number one concern. we spended filming so that the allegations could be investigated immediately and thoroughly." the show stopped production and the cast was sent home. >> just because it happened on a reality show doesn't change any of the rules that apply. either there was wrongdoing or there wasn't wrongdoing. the only difference here is, you may have all of it on tape. >> reporter: within days olympios released a statement saying, i am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened. and, although i have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place. as a woman this is my worst nightmare and has now become my reality. adding that she hired an attorney and is seeking therapy to deal with the physical and emotional trauma stemming from that evening. jackson defended himself in an interview with "inside edition."
>> my character's been assassinated. my family name has been drug through the mud. >> reporter: fans demanded to know more tweeting, we need answers. jackson tweeting back, alt facts. last week warner brothers announced it had concluded its investigation and will resume production on "bachelor in paradise" stating, "our internal investigation conducted with the assistance of an outside law firm has been completed. the tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member, nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy." >> they've come out so definitively saying there was no wrongdoing, they're going to keep filming the show. either they're crazy, or they feel reallysolid legal ground. >> reporter: the abc network which broadcasts "bachelor in paradise" adding, they support the investigation by warner brothers and given their results, the series will resume production and will air this summer. >> there are two avenues here. criminal and civil. no one's alleged criminal
wrongdoing. it happened in mexico. so it would have to be conduct the by the mexican authorities anyway. the civil case, that could happen back here in the united states. >> reporter: olympios' team releasing a statement saying, our own investigation will continue based on multiple new witnesses coming forward, revealing what they saw and heard. olympios has yet to respond to claims made by jackson in the e news interview. >> it's critical to remember it was a producer on the show who alleged wrongdoing. the real question for me is going to be is there something that eyewitnesses can testify to that isn't on that tape? >> reporter: tonight jackson saying he's not mad at olympios and he's unsure who to what i mean blame. >> i'm mad at the situation. i'd like to ask her, what happened? there's so many different angles. >> warner brothers issued this statement. production on this season of "bachelor in paradise" will be resuming. we plan to implement certain changes to the show's policies and procedures to enhance and and procedures to enhance and further ensure the
that was my favorite bite so far. (avo) new beneful grain free. out with the grain, in with the farm-raised chicken. healthful. flavorful. beneful. ...studying to be a dentist and she gave me advice. she said... my daughter is... ...dadgo pro with crest pro-health. 4 out of 5 dentists confirm... ...these crest pro-health... ...products help maintain a... ...professional clean. go pro with crest pro health crest pro-health... ...really brought my mouth... ...to the next level. ♪ ouch! new band-aid® brand skin-flex™, bandages. our best bandage yet! it dries almost instantly. better? yeah. good thing because stopping never crosses your mind. band-aid® brand. stick with it™ what bad back?gels work so fast you'll ask what pulled hammy? advil liqui - gels make pain a distant memory nothing works faster stronger or longer what pain? advil. lobster and shrimp are teaming up in so many new dishes.fest, like coastal lobster and shrimp,
[ intense music playing ] ] it's here, but it's going by fast. the opportunity of the year is back: the mercedes-benz summer event. get to your dealer today for incredible once-a-season offers, and start firing up those grilles. lease the gle350 for $579 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
finally tonight, what do you need to do to get a personalized message from taylor swift? the answer may discourage you. it's no secret nba star russell westbrook is a huge swiftie. ♪ we got bad blood >> frequently taking to instagram to vibe out to her jams telling jimmy kimmel -- >> you love taylor swift? >> i do, her music is so catchy. >> reporter: when westbrook accepted his most valuable player award, he got a big congrats from taylor swift herself. >> russell, it's taylor. >> t-swift taking to the okc up this's twitter account. >> i was the one who taught you to dribble, to shoot hoops, you know. and i remember the first time you beat me. if you remember correctly you said, you just have to shake it off. ♪ shake it off >> only to reveal -- >> actually, we've never met and that's a fake story but i wish it were the truth. and you are amazing.