More details have been released about a police investigation into a West U business that was under suspicions of prostitution.
West U police received a call in February about possible criminal activity at Avi Spa, 4108 Bellaire Blvd.
The massage parlor is located near the West University Place Recreation Center. Police have been called to the business on multiple occasions since it opened earlier this year, according to information obtained through a public information request.
“Police learned of possible suspicious activity occurring in the 4100 block of Bellaire. An investigation was initiated regarding any possible city ordinance violations and or criminal activity that may be occurring. During this time, police also received a call from a citizen, reporting suspicious activity from the same area. The concern is regarding illegal business practices, merely speculation at this time, but wanted police to be aware of it,” according to a police report.
“These type of businesses are regularly known to open and operate as Sexually Oriented Businesses, masquerading as a Spa and Massage parlor,” a police incident report states.
The West U Police Department, along with the Houston Police Department, conducted a sting operation at the massage parlor on March 4.
One of the officers entered the business as a customer and obtained a massage by one of the women in the massage parlor. “He was unable to obtain an agreement for an offer of sexual conduct from the female performing his massage,” the report states.
When the massage was over, the woman was unable to provide a license to practice as a massage therapist, according to the report. The officers also could not locate any massage licenses displayed inside the business.
Police concluded their investigation by issuing citations for “failure to display massage license where advertised,” “owner/operator of massage establishment to employ only registered massage therapist to perform massage” and “fail as a massage therapist to obtain a certificate of registration from Texas Department of Health Services.”
The citations are currently pending in West U Municipal Court, Municipal Court Clerk Tiffany Poke said. The fines are $500 each.
Since the investigation in March, the police department has not had a need to do a followup investigation, Capt. Thad Olive said. They have not had any calls or reports about the business since then, he said.
“They might be a legitimate business after all,” he said. “We don’t want to hound them.”