More information has been released regarding citations that were issued to a West U massage parlor, following an investigation for prostitution.
West U police received a call in February about possible criminal activity at Avi Spa, 4108 Bellaire Blvd.
Police investigated the business for suspicions of prostitution in March, which resulted in 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, says Municipal Court Clerk Gaby Perez.
The violation for “fail to employ registered massage therapist” resulted in the defendant being placed on deferred disposition until Oct. 13, 2013, posting a deferral bond of $186 and paying $64 in court costs.
The violation for “no massage license displayed” was dismissed in court on April 16, 2013.
The final violation for “massage therapist-fail to obtain certificate” resulted in the defendant being placed on deferred disposition until Aug. 14, 2013, posting a deferral bond of $186 and paying $64 in court costs.
Perez said that the conditions of the deferred dispositions are that the defendants “must not violate any laws of this state or any other state.”
Despite two people being ticketed in March for violations at Avi Spa, the West U police department has not followed up since the incident to make sure they are in compliance.
“They might be a legitimate business after all,” Capt. Thad Olive told InstantNewsWestU.com. “We don’t want to hound them.”
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.