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Ex-San Diego Vice Detective Sentenced for Operating Illicit Massage Parlors

SAN DIEGO - A former San Diego police detective who operated massage parlors that offered commercial sex services was sentenced today to nearly three years in federal prison.

Peter Griffin, 79, a former vice detective, attorney, and private investigator owned and operated five businesses in California and Arizona between 2013 and 2022, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Griffin was sentenced Friday to 33 months in prison, while three other defendants who managed Griffin's businesses were each sentenced to six months in custody.

The defendants advertised sexual services online and employed women to perform those services, prosecutors said. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the women were ``mostly vulnerable, non-English speaking immigrants from Korea and China with limited employment opportunities and financial resources.''

A grand jury indictment returned against the defendants states the businesses were located in San Diego, Escondido, Chula Vista, Spring Valley and Tempe, Arizona.

Griffin was a San Diego police officer from 1975 until 2002, and spent time in the San Diego Police Department's Vice Unit, which investigates crimes related to prostitution.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Griffin used his experience as a former vice detective to evade law enforcement and regulatory agencies and his private investigator license to obtain information on customers and employees.

On one occasion, he told an employee not to ``open (her) mouth'' about her work at one of his parlors, prosecutors allege. His co-defendants also told the massage businesses' employees that Griffin's status as an ex-cop would keep the businesses off of law enforcement's radar.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.


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