Riverdale Skin & Body was closed by court order on Sept. 28.
That day, the city filed a summons against the owners of the building that houses the massage parlor, located at 3733 Riverdale Ave., citing two previous investigations into prostitution at the location and claiming that the owners “were aware or should have been aware of the illegal activity” at the premises.
While executing an eviction order that evening, police allegedly found evidence that three women who identified themselves as masseuses — Jahwang Myeong, 40; Kim Young, 47; and Kim Kisook, 50 — could not provide the licenses required to give massages.
The criminal charges brought against the three women are for working without a license in “small rooms each with a bed in it” inside of which there were three males “in various stages of disrobement.”
However, the civil complaint that led to the raid makes explicit the allegation that the criminal complaint implies.
It alleges that the property’s unknown owners, lessees, operators or occupants — Jane and John Doe — had maintained or operated a “house of prostitution and have permitted, promoted, condoned” the activity.
The Press previously reported that police conducted a raid at the massage parlor, located up a flight of stairs under a red awning, on a busy street — on Feb. 16. According to court documents, an undercover detective visited the massage parlor and had sexual conversations with two females, one of whom offered him sex for $140. Both women were arrested. Another female was arrested after offering to have sex with a detective in exchange for the same fee on March 2.
An advertisement posted on the classifieds website backpage.com for services at the Riverdale Skin & Body location had pitched the business as offering “SENSUAL RELAXATION BY ASIAN HOTTIES” and “THE BEST Sensual Bodywork in the Bronx!” It also advertised the location’s “Great Table Shower.”
According to Urban Dictionary, an online slang reference, table shower denotes a service in which a masseuse bathes a customer who is lying on a table, “First face down then on your back so particular attention can be paid to private parts.”
Undercover investigators first struck another local massage parlor, New Healing Touch, at 4685 Manhattan College Parkway, last year on Dec. 22. That business was later closed.
Capt. Burke previously told The Press that that he had received complaints about both massage locations and forwarded them to NYPD Vice Unit, which investigates prostitution.
According to New York law, a public nuisance requires two or more prostitution convictions of people operating in a particular “ building, erection, or place” and entitles the city to collect $1,000 for each day the unknown defendants knowingly conducted the illegal operation.
Steven Reed, director of public information for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, said the criminal allegations are still under investigation.
‘We’re trying to get the facts together,” he said.