Police crack down on massage businesses

7:28 AM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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Seri Wilkens, 57 (L) and Hyeon Ju Kim, 58 (R)
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  • CONYERS, Ga. -- It was a first for the City of Conyers. Two women were cited for running an illegal spa under a new Spa Ordinance that went into effect Oct. 1, 2012.

    Conyers police said they were concerned about the number of massage businesses moving into the city. "We are trying to get a head of the complaints," said Lt. Jackie Dunn.

    Lt. Dunn said police have been conducting inspections at the city's roughly 10 massage businesses. The first business found in violation was Spa World on West Avenue.

    What police found behind closed doors there may go far beyond the new ordinance. Hyeon Ju Kim, 58, of Stockbridge was issued a citation for operating without a massage therapist license. She was also cited for keeping an ordinary bed inside the business, failure to provide new employee information, locking of access doors inside the location, and failure to maintain records.

    Seri Wilkens, 57, of Stockbridge was cited for operating without a massage therapist license and providing services with improper attire. "She was dressed in what might be described as a little bit more provocative," Lt. Dunn said. "She was wearing a spaghetti strap dress and the side of the dress had slits all the way up the side close to the hip."

    According to a police incident report on the arrests, an officer wrote: "The dress was low cut with the upper portion of her body exposed."

    Police said a male customer ran out of the spa when they arrived. "The male did leave and leave part of his clothing behind as he left," Lt. Dunn said. In the incident report, the officer wrote "I observed a pair of boxer underwear lying on the floor underneath the bed."

    No one answered the door at Spa World on Thursday and neighboring businesses said they have not seen anyone at the business since the police came on Tuesday.

    Oz Deas owns a hair salon business in the same strip mall as the spa. He said the spa has only been open a short time. "I would say half a year, and I've never seen anybody go in and out," he said. "I'm pretty street-knowledgeable and I haven't seen any activity myself."

    The citations may not be the end of Spa World's troubles. Conyers police used a search warrant to get the company's video surveillance DVR, its computer and customer logs. Depending on what they find, there could be criminal charges with penalties much more severe than the new ordinance.

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