Van Orden claims Rep. Ron Kind is profiting from a business that needs to be investigated

Van Orden claims Asian Sunny Massage in downtown La Crosse uses websites that promote illicit sex

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Republican Derrick Van Orden, who is running for the 3rd District Congressional seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Ron Kind, claimed Wednesday that a massage business that rents space from a building owned by Kind in downtown La Crosse “has a history of posting on websites advertising illicit sex.”

In a statement, Van Orden said he wants this La Crosse massage business investigated “to uncover any potential illegal activity,” and said, “the industry has been proven to be a component of human sex trafficking.”

This story originated with a national news outlet, which included Van Orden’s claim that the business is known to use websites that feature businesses that provide illicit sex.

News 8 Now investigated to see if there was any substance to these claims.

Here is what confirmed at this time:

  • Public records show Kind is the owner of the property in downtown La Crosse.
  • His financial disclosure report does show him listing that the property created income between $15,000 and $50,000 in 2019.

Kind’s office confirmed that income includes the Asian Sunny Massage business lease and rent from the apartment above it.

News 8 Now also obtained City of La Crosse police records to see if the department has received any complaints about the business.

In the time the massage business opened in May of 2018, police have responded to seven calls to its address.

None of them resulted in any criminal complaint:

  • 3/19/21 1:38 AM – 911 CHECK
  • 9/3/20 – 4:27 PM – 911 CHECK
  • 3/6/20 2:06 AM – 911 CHECK
  • 10/13/19 6:29 AM – 911 CHECK
  • 6/16/19 3:02 AM – 911 CHECK
  • 1/22/19 4:08 PM – SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY
  • 6/11/18 1:09 PM – WELFARE CHECK

In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Ron Kind responded, “As a former special prosecutor, I take any allegation of wrongdoing seriously. But that’s not what this is. This is a baseless smear rooted in racism and insinuations. Tawni and I have never received any complaint from the community or police about this small business. Because of Derrick Van Orden and his allies pushing lies, local police are increasing patrols to ensure the safety of this Asian-owned small business. In light of what has happened across the country and especially in Atlanta last month, it is irresponsible, dangerous, and despicable of Derrick Van Orden to slander this local business owner and put law enforcement in harm’s way.”