Cops shut down Healing Touch for prostitution
By Kate Pastor
New Healing Touch, the massage parlor at 4685 Manhattan College Parkway that became known for prostitution, was closed by court order on May 9.
The NYPD’s Bronx Vice Squad twice busted employees at New Healing Touch for prostitution, once in December and again in February.
After the two arrests, police sources said the NYPD’s Civil Enforcement Unit applied for a closure order, which was granted on May 9. The nuisance abatement was executed the same day. People working inside were instructed to leave and the place was shuttered, police sources said.
Neither the landlord nor the tenants showed up in court to file a motion against the action, leaving a sign behind the closed gates that read “closed by court order.” Next to it, a restraining order reminds the public that prostitution is prohibited.
New Healing Touch will remain closed unless a party files a successful motion to reverse the closure on its behalf.
Investigators first struck on Dec. 22, when an officer visited the massage parlor and employee Yingji Li allegedly offered to touch his penis in exchange for money, according to court documents. She was arrested and charged with one misdemeanor prostitution count. Ms. Li’s arrest came less than three weeks after state Sen. Jeff Klein sent a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly requesting that the NYPD look into possible prostitution at New Healing Touch.
Two months later, Bronx Vice Squad visited the massage parlor again, at around 3:40 p.m. on Feb. 29. An undercover officer received a 30-minute-long massage from Ying Al Li, 43, and inquired about sexual services afterward, according to a complaint filed with the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
Local politicians praised the closure.
“I thank the 50th Precinct for taking strong action and closing this blight on our community. It’s important that we always respond quickly and decisively when the quality of life in our neighborhoods is threatened. That’s why Senator Klein and I have introduced legislation that would toughen penalties for these types of violations,” read a statement by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.
The legislation, which was originally authored in 2010 and recently co-sponsored by Mr. Dinowitz, proposes that the state revoke the license of any massage therapy business that produces three prostitution arrests.
KeywordsKate Pastor, New Healing Touch, prostitution, Yingji Li, Sen. Jeff Klein, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, 50th Precinct, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.