Owners of massage parlors in Duluth, Superior charged with sex trafficking

Matthew Shykes, 60, and Shuangyan, 49, arrested by the Duluth Police Department last week for sex trafficking and racketeering. (Photo credit: St. Louis County Jail) 

The owners of massage parlors in Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin have been charged with sex trafficking and racketeering after a year-and-a-half-long investigation, police announced Thursday. 

The suspects, Shuangyan Yang, 49, and Matthew Shykes, 60, are the owners of Shuangyan’s Spa and Better Massage in Duluth and Superior Soothing Massage in Superior. 

The Duluth Police Department has been investigating the pair’s massage parlors since fall 2017 after receiving several tips from concerned community members, according to a news release. 

On March 21, the department’s sex crimes unit and multiple partner agencies conducted a search warrant at the businesses. Five people, including Yang and Shykes, were arrested, although three of them were later released after authorities determined they were the victims in the case. 

“Sex trafficking is not a crime that happens somewhere else to people we don’t know,” Duluth Police chief Mike Tusken said. “Sex trafficking happens in our community and our department is dedicating the resources to hold sex traffickers and sex buyers accountable.” 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Human Trafficking Task Force, East Metro Trafficking Task Force, the IRS, St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security, FBI, Hermantown Police Department, Superior Police Department, Douglas County and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office all assisted with the investigation.