JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – A chance remark at a citizen meeting about illicit massage parlors operating in Johns Creek may have led to a rumor circulating around town.
The rumor went like this: A Chinese woman was arrested for an illicit act at a Johns Creek massage parlor after an undercover sting operation. At the Fulton County Jail, the woman received a routine health screen and was discovered to have tuberculosis.
This led to the prisoner and three city employees being placed in isolation, so the story went.
This story popped up just days after city residents had a meeting with city officials about the proliferation of illicit massage parlors in the city.
There, a suspiciously similar story unfolded as residents were told the difficulty in effectively dealing with such establishments because they are well represented by lawyers who know the case law in how they operate.
Police Chief Ed Densmore explained that while his department has carried out several sting operations, the women always request trial in Fulton Superior Court where they are simply fined and sent on their way.
In telling about one sting operation, one city official said the perpetrator in question received a health screening and her tests came back positive for TB. This required the arresting officers to be tested also. The official said the officers were all negative for TB, but it showed the risks of exposure to infectious disease that officers must face in this duty.
At the meeting, the official was asked what became of the woman. He said he did not know, but she probably paid her fine and was released.
When the rumor was spread at a civic function and the Herald was called, the paper checked it out.
The rumor sounded like its roots came out of the city official’s talk with residents about the massage parlor sting that turned up a supposed TB victim.
Johns Creek Communications Manager Doug Nurse said in questioning the arresting officer, the officer told him that a woman arrested in a massage parlor sting did test positive for TB at Fulton Jail. However, once the prisoner was transported to a facility in Pelham, Ga., she was screened again and came up negative.
“The test at the Fulton Jail was a false positive, and at Pelham, it was found she really didn’t have it,” Nurse said. “There were no Johns Creek officers tested, and no one we know of was ever sequestered in a hospital.”
The woman was later turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The city doesn’t have any information after that, Nurse said.