Canton - Call it an unhappy ending for Heavenly Spa, a massage parlor that detectives effectively shut down last week when they arrested three female masseuses for allegedly selling clients “happy endings.”
Canton police began an investigation into the Turnpike Street business, which advertises its services on Craigslist, after receiving an unsigned letter that said the massage parlor doubled as a brothel, and masseuses routinely offered happy endings, slang for providing a sex act.
The owner, Wang Liang, 36, of Rowley, pleaded innocent at her arraignment Tuesday to charges of maintaining and deriving support from a house of prostitution. She was released on personal recognizance.
Two women from Flushing, Queens, N.Y., who police believe lived at the massage parlor, were also arrested. Li Ping Dai, 43, and Mei Lu, 42, pleaded innocent on Friday to charges of maintaining a house of prostitution. Lu also pleaded innocent to a charge of soliciting for prostitution.
The arrests happened Thursday when Lu allegedly told an undercover detective during a massage that she would perform a sex act for $40.
A police report by Detective Eric W. Wade details the investigation, which unfolded over two weeks this month.
The business, which operated from Suite 101 of a professional building at 1032 Turnpike St., is noticeable only by a front-window neon sign of a masseuse at work. Police found ads posted at Craigslist.com.
The listed hours of operation were 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. But in his report, Wade said, the women appeared to live there and would leave only in the early morning to remove trash and shop for groceries. Clients arrived later, and often parked at businesses next door. At the locked front door was a doorbell for entry.
“These men would be constantly looking around and appeared very nervous,” Wade wrote. “They would walk quickly into the business and (as they left) would already have their keys in their hands and would walk with their heads down.”
In the span of a week, two detectives were sent in undercover. The first paid $50 for a half-hour massage. Afterward, a second woman entered the private room and asked “whether the detective was satisfied with his massage.” He said it was fine.
The second detective, sent in on Thursday, had undressed for his massage and laid on the table when “Gloria” asked him to roll over, then touched “his private area,” according to the report.
The detective handed over $40 at her request then called in officers.
Police learned that Lu – “Gloria” – had a past conviction for prostitution in New Jersey. Liang, the owner, was on probation from a Contra Costra County, Calif., arrest for keeping or living in a house of ill fame, according to the police report.
The women are scheduled to appear in court June 17.
other places affected: Unknown