Four bikini baristas and their boss were charged with indecent exposure and prostitution in Edmonds last week, KIRO FM reported today.
"They’re not having sex in the stands, but they’re allowing customers to touch them in areas where normal people wouldn’t allow them to touch them in exchange for money," Edmonds Police Sgt. Don Anderson told KIRO.
The women were employed by Java Juggs, which operates three coffee stands locally—they’re all still open for business, per KIRO. According to the Seattle Times, three more employees who have not been arrested are also facing charges.
In 2009, similar allegations were levied against baristas at Grab-N-Go Espresso—you decide whether or not the name is misleading—in Everett.
I had a recent email exchange with Laurie Bowden, the Seattle-based owner of Cowgirls Espresso, a national chain of bikini barista drive-ups. (We were in touch following a post I wrote comparing the wages of bikini baristas with those of other baristas.)
At the time, Bowden expressed concern that seedy competitors were dragging down an industry that’s mostly, she said, on the up and up. "I have been in business for 11 years," wrote Bowden. "Just recently in the last four years I have had to deal with competitors and all the negative publicly [SIC]. We work very hard to keep this industry as clean and reputable as possible."