Six massage parlors in Lincoln Square, Northcenter, Roscoe Village and West Lakeview allegedly provide paid sexual favors, according to a highly sophisticated and well-organized website created to collect customer reviews of prostitution.
The businesses in Center Square Journal’s and Roscoe View Journal’s combined coverage areas were cited by different websites as establishments where patrons could receive sexual favors in exchange for their business.
According to the several different websites, New Hope Spa, 3128 N. Lincoln Ave.; Ping Spa, 3748 N. Ashland Ave.; Linda Spa, 4014 N. Western Ave.; Lily Spa, 2050 W. Belmont Ave.; Massage and Acupuncture Center, 4616 N. Western Ave.; and Harvest Spa, 1919 W. Diversey Parkway, all now or in the recent past, have offered sexual favors in exchange for cash to patrons, according to customer reviews.
There were over 70 total reviewed locations across Chicago, and even more in the suburbs.
The reviews are graphic, detailing exactly what employees of the parlors are willing to do for patrons, how much money they expect in return, how safe patrons felt entering the establishment, whether or not the parlor is located on a busy section of street and how patrons should conduct themselves to ensure they receive sexual favors.
Samples reviews and screenshots of the websites, are at the bottom of this story. NOTE: The reviews contain vulgar language.
The websites—some of which require a paid subscription, while others are free of charge—are relatively easy to find with a Google search. One of the sites, RubMaps.com, requires a $15 monthly subscription to read and post reviews and has reviews for massage parlors across the country. Included in the reviews are checklists for “services” that are offered.
Rubmaps.com, which appears to be based in Cyprus, according to information on the site, still stipulates that users must refrain from “Transmitting any information, data, text, files, links, software, chats, communication or other materials that is unlawful.”
RubMaps.com did not respond to requests for an interview by publication.
The spas, which appear to be mostly operated by East Asian immigrants, claimed a language barrier when contacted. When a reporter called one spa and identified himself to ask about the reviews of sexual favors, the answerer repeatedly claimed they did not speak English.
But even with the relative frequency of reviews being posted during the last year–there are 50 total reviews for the six parlors on RubMaps.com in the last year alone–there has been no noticeable action taken to stop the alleged activities.
The Chicago Police Department has a policy of not releasing exact addresses of arrests, only just the block number where an incident occurred. However, on the list of reported incidents on the City’s data portal, arrest locations are identified with X and Y coordinates, as well as whether the incident happened on the street or in a different area, giving a clearer idea of exactly where an incident was reported to have occurred.
According to the City data, CPD has made two arrests for prostitution on the same block as two of the allegedly massage parlors in the last year, on Dec. 7, 2011 on the same block as Harvest Spa, 1919 W. Diversey Parkway and on Oct. 17, 2012 on the same block as Ping Spa, 3748 N. Ashland Ave.
All of the establishments in Roscoe View Journal and Center Square Journal‘s coverage area that allegedly offer clients sexual gratification also currently hold a Chicago Massage Establishment License, according to city records.
Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs is responsible for granting licenses and inspecting businesses that seek and are granted Massage Establishment Licenses. To acquire a license, massage parlor proprietors must be fingerprinted, pass a background check, employ only those with personal massage licenses and provide copies of all massage therapist licenses issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for every employee or prospective employee. These inspections, according to the department website, are administered before the license is initially granted and every two years when the license is renewed, in addition to periodic random inspections.
According the department’s website, “Message establishment operators should not allow its employees, agents or independent contractors to touch, or offer or agree to touch the sexual or genital area of any person. Engaging in any of these acts makes the Massage Establishment licensee strictly liable for revocation or suspension of the license.”
When contacted by Center Square Journal, CPD declined to speak on the record before publication.
Additional reporting by Mike Fourcher.
NOTE: The screenshots below contain graphic, vulgar language.