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City Records: Prostitution, Other Offenses in Area Massage Parlors Date Back to 2010

By Sam Charles | Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five massage parlors in the area have been found to be in violation of several city ordinances, including offering sexual favors to clients, city records show.

Recently obtained documents from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection detail more than a dozen instances of various violations at the five area massage parlors investigated by Brown Line Media last month.

Violations reported in the documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, ranged from prostitution to unlicensed “therapists” to illegal sandwich board signs displayed on the adjacent sidewalk.

The most recent inspection and subsequent violations were found at Ping Spa, 3748 N. Ashland Ave., on Oct. 17, 2012.

According to the inspection reports, offers of prostitution were made to the city inspector, and the two employees present at the time were charged with operating a house of ill fame. The inspector also found that the massage parlor had no running water at the time of inspection.

Just four days before the failed inspection, Ping Spa posted an ad on BackPage.com letting potential clients know about their new “therapists.”

Linda Spa, 4014 N. Western Ave., was cited on Feb. 15, 2011 for failing to maintain a clear, unobstructed view from the street into the reception area. The investigation, conducted by the Dept. of Business Affairs and the Chicago Police Department, later determined that the establishment did not offer prostitution services. However, a review posted on RubMaps.com on Sept. 21, 2012 detailed one clients experience receiving sexual favors while visiting Linda Spa.

Prostitution was also found at Lily Spa, 2050 W. Belmont Ave., during their June 15, 2010 inspection.

According to the documents from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, on June 15, the CPD coordinated an investigation with the Department of Business Affairs.

An officer was scheduled for a massage at 2 p.m. while a Revenue Investigator was stationed outside the establishment.

“After a short time, police officers were informed that a sexual favor was offered to [the police officer],” the report read. “[The police officer] stated that another female employee who conducted the massage and was unable to provide any identification offered a [sexual favor] for a total of$60.00.”

Other violations at Lily Spa included:

  • Allowing an unlicensed “therapist” to conduct massages,
  • Failure to maintain a current listing of all licensed massage therapists and state-issued photo ID’s,
  • Failure to maintain a business record, including the date and time of massages, as well as the person giving the massage and how much was the client was charged,
  • Employing an unlicensed massage therapist,
  • Failure to provide a state-issued photo ID for a licensed massage therapist.

A recent report by The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation found that massage parlors often serve as hubs for human trafficking.

Massage and Acupuncture Center, 4616 N. Western Ave., failed to display their business license and failure to maintain copies of employee photo ID’s and company records.

No traces of prostitution were found during the inspection, but a review of Massage and Acupuncture Center was posted on RubMaps.com on Sept. 21, 2012.

Harvest Spa, 1919 W. Diversey Parkway, was also found to be offering prostitution services during an inspection by the Dept. of Business Affairs and the CPD on Dec. 7, 2011.

“[A] police officer entered had entered the establishment as a walk in patron, seeking massage services while investigators waited nearby for [the officer] to notify with a signal is the “therapist” offered sexual favors for an additional charge,” the report read. “After a short while, [the officer] informed investigators that the location was positive for prostitution…[the "therapist"] was including such services int he massage for the price of $65.00.”

As investigators tried to enter the establishment, the report read, a woman refused to open the door.

“[The woman] intentionally delayed the investigators entry to the business, thus allowing [the "therapist"] to exit the business through the rear door.”

The fleeing woman was later picked up by police.

Despite the numerous accrued by each of the establishments, each one has received at least one review on RubMaps.com since their most recent inspection.

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