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County Massage Parlors Come Under Scrutiny

Some parlors in the county have been shut down due to inappropriate business practices.

It’s a treat that many people look forward to and view as a luxury: a relaxing massage to relax those tired muscles.

However, while many massage parlors are long-standing businesses with legitimate clientele, some massage parlors have become targets of investigations due to additional activity that sometimes occurs behind closed doors.

In Millbrae, the Police Department after sending in undercover officers to solicit sex in August 2011. Officers began investigating Life Reflection and Acupressure Help Center after receiving complaints from residents on the frequency of men patronizing the businesses.

In June, a Menlo Park  because of alleged bribes to county officials. Bao Ling Qi plead no contest to repeated attempts to offer bribes to county officials, but what she insisted were traditional Chinese cultural customs to offer gifts. 

In San Carlos, residents’ complaints regarding Oriental Massage’s practices of Shu Yan Zhang, 49, for allegedly soliciting for prostitution. Three separate arrests for prostitution were made in the last two years at the facility.

The Redwood City city council made a formal recommendation to within city boundaries.

According to Supervisor Don Horsley, such establishments can be easily identified by the contents of their advertisements.

There are many websites and publications dedicated to discussions of erotic massage parlors. When an establishment advertises on such websites, especially in a way that is “enticing”, that should be a tip-off that the massage parlor likely offers other services, says Horsley, who served as San Mateo County Sheriff in the 1990s.

Horsley has instructed his staff to take down reports from constituents of suspected erotic massage parlors.

“Constituents are our eyes and ears,” he said.

When a tip is credible, that information is passed to authorities to investigate.

Massage therapy experts say that legitimate massage parlors should ensure that they send the right signals to clients to ensure they are aware that a massage is all they are getting.

Melanie Marden of High Maintenance Mobile spa told Inside Edition that she insists on keeping clients covered up during massages. In addition, she instructs her therapists to leave the room if clients begin to get the wrong idea.

For those who have no issue with erotic massages, Horsely added that many masseuses are human trafficking victims who are brought to perform such acts against their will.

“We’re trying to get it out to the public that massage parlors are a prime target not just for prostitution but also for human trafficking.”

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Michele September 04, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I think it is crazy how many massage parlors there are in Millbrae alone. Really do we need that many? I really don't think so. There was a massage parlor on Park Blvd that was shut down due to happy endings and the sad thing it is in a residential neighborhood and right down the street from Capuchino high school. And I love how these people play dumb the one in Menlo Park said it is chinese culture to brings gifts well learn the laws your not in China any more!!! Does anyone else see a pattern here or is it just me?
Laura September 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I do see a pattern ... of horrible grammar from a xenophobe! If you are so disdainful of "these people" (and, BTW, it's "you're", not "your"), this is not the right city for you.
Michele September 05, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I have no problem with different races!! I am tired of all the massage parlors and yes most of them are operated by Asians. I have lived in Millbrae for over 25yrs and it has changed and not for the better.

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