A Cedar Grove massage parlor paid over $13,000 in fines after it was found guilty of violating several heath codes, including one that makes it illegal for employees to engage in sexual acts with clients. Though the fines were paid in full, the spa is currently appealing the municipal court’s June 17 decision, according to a court deputy administrator.
In February, an Angel Spa employee was arrested and charged with prostitution. The incident marked the second time within a year that an employee of the Pompton Avenue spa was arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution.
The arrest of 46-year-old Shinqing Liu, of Queens, led to the massage parlor receiving eight citations from Cedar Grove’s health and building departments.
The business was found guilty last month of all the citations, including failure to obtain a criminal background check for employees, not keeping a register of all personnel and failing to display permits and certifications, according to Deputy Administrator Theresa Platvoet. The spa was also found guilty of breaking an ordinance that makes it illegal for employees to “perform, offer or agree to perform sexual acts with clients,” Platvoet said. Angel Spa, which was fined a total of $13,312, is appealing the decision.
On the same day, the court found Liu guilty of engaging in prostitution and she was fined $664, according to Platvoet. (A person who answered the phone at Angel Spa June 27 told the Times that Liu no longer works at the establishment.)
As with the spa, Liu’s case is pending appeal, Platvoet said.
The first incident at Angel Spa occurred in May 2013. At that time, five women from four Cedar Grove spas – Zen Massage and Therapy, Spa Oasis, Michelle Nails & Spa and Angel Spa – were arrested for allegedly engaging in prostitution. Of the five arrested, 40-year-old Xianyu Jin, of Queens, worked as an employee at Angel Spa.
Charges against the five women were downgraded to disorderly conduct on April 21, according to Kathy Carter of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. While the disorderly conduct charge could lead to 90 days of jail time and a $500 fine, Carter could not provide the Times with any further details.