Massage parlors to pay fines, officers' expenses

February 16, 1996|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,SUN STAFF

Owners of massage parlors in Laurel and Jessup each have agreed to pay about $3,000 to the county in fines and to cover the costs of fees that police officers paid for massages during a controversial sex investigation.

Sam Sun Shin, owner of Rainbow Spa in the 8600 block of Washington Blvd. in Jessup, agreed to repay $960 that the Police Department spent on massages for undercover officers in the seven-month investigation.

Mary Ann Platt, owner of Lily Spa in the 10100 block of Washington Blvd. in Laurel, agreed to pay $940 for police expenses.

Both owners agreed to pay $2,000 in fines. They also shut down their businesses for 30 days, concluding late last month, and agreed not to hire any of the massage technicians arrested in the highly publicized sting, which was criticized because officers engaged in sex acts.

F. Todd Taylor, a senior assistant county solicitor, said yesterday that negotiations are continuing with three other massage parlor owners.

County police last October arrested 13 parlor employees, charging them with misdemeanor violations. Charges against two women have been settled; 11 cases are pending.

County police paid $4,260 for massages at the parlors to investigate complaints that therapists were engaging in sex acts. Agreements signed by the two parlor owners said employees violated county law by exposing their private parts and by massaging their customers' erogenous areas.

The investigation prompted criticism of the police action and has spurred discussion about changes in the county's massage parlor laws.

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