Arrests Not Enough to Close Massage Parlors

"The law isn’t in our favor that way." -Medford police Lt. Paul Covino.

Two women at Medford massage parlors were arrested Thursday for allegedly offering sexual favors for a fee to undercover officers, but that isn't enough for police to shut down the businesses.

"The law isn’t in our favor that way," Medford police Lt. Paul Covino said in a phone interview Friday. "We’re catching a lot of heat from the public on these things, but there isn’t much power on our end to close these places."

That's because the owners of the businesses don't face any charges, Covino said. Baojuan Shi, 49 of New York City, and Simone Santos, 39, of Malden, each face misdemeanor charges of offering sexual conduct for a fee.

But neither implicated their employer, Covino said, which prevents police from charging the owners with deriving an income from prostitution. Shi worked at Mixue Spa at 397 Main Street, while Santos worked at Lavish Spa at 407 Mystic Ave.

"They go to great lengths to disassociate what they are doing with the owners with these places," Covino said. "It’s almost like they’ve been trained."

The arrests came as result of an investigation by Medford police, the state's Division of Professional Licensure and the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Covino said he would not provide detail of the investigation because similar tactics could be used by city police in the future.

"The whole object of the game here to move them out of the city," Covino said.

The Division of Professional Licensure cited Shi, Santos and another worker for not being a properly licensed massage therapist, Covino said. The division could also potentially come up with other violations that could force the parlors to shutdown, but such action had not been taken as of Friday afternoon.

Mixue Spa was still open on Friday, Covino said, but he was unsure of Lavish Spa. No one answered a call to Lavish Spa's listed phone number late Friday afternoon.

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myhometown June 09, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I am a business owner in that area of Main St. The Mixue Spa at 397 Main St. was closed down and reopened the very next week at 388 Main St., next to Arthurs Pastry.The rental space was previously occupied by Josefs Hair Salon and was available.. Josefs name remains on the door. The place has been operating over a month undercover. The woman I've seen appears to be the very same person from Mixue. A worker from the new location approached one of my clients on the sidewalk, in broad daylight, had a brief conversation with him, and she left him her "business card". The card reads Healthy Bodywork, 388 Main St. , Medford 857-225-4793. No name on the card. She told him to ask for "Lily". I have personally seen men doing business there. Customers knock on the locked door, she peeks through the drawn shades, and then lets them enter. The entire neighborhood is aware of this, as well as the police, so why is the business still around??? Landlords should do some background checking before renting out their property !!!
Patricia Flynn February 14, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Are there anymore known "message palors" located in Medford. Because I suspect there is one near where we live
Ken Krause February 14, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Unfortunately, they are all over the city (and not just Medford). As soon as the police close one down, another one opens. Some examples: http://boston.craigslist.org/search/thp?zoomToPosting=&altView=&query=Medford&srchType=A
Patricia Flynn February 18, 2013 at 06:19 AM
I beloeve Namcy was right, survalience cameras may be the most effective and publicize pictures for all to see incl wives, employers, neighbors etc
Joe Ung July 23, 2013 at 05:47 PM
More can be found on rubmaps.com


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