Five ‘spas’ peddling prostitution shut down: Brooklyn DA
Concluding a year-long investigation, five Brooklyn “spas” were shut down after being connected with two local prostitution rings, officials announced Monday.
Six people were indicted for peddling prostitution and, in one case, trafficking sex, out of spas and massage parlors throughout Brooklyn, District Attorney Charles Hynes said.
Four people were charged with trafficking sex out of spas in Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint after a victim who was forced to prostitute herself contacted the district attorney in December.
One of the defendants, Yun Feng Zhang, allegedly kicked and slapped the woman repeatedly, saying she must do whatever she’s asked because the customer is “god.”
Two others were charged for promoting prostitution as part of a different ring in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.
This ring offered advertised “Amazing Body Rub. . . Unforgettable Full Bodywork” massages online alongside graphic photos of women, officials said.
Hynes said in a statement he hoped the investigation not only put locals at ease, but all Brooklyn residents.
He continued, “We will not tolerate illicit operations that exploit women and adversely affect neighborhoods.”
The borough-wide investigation was launched after Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights residents complained to the district attorney about suspicious and disruptive activities in what appeared to be legitimate massage therapy and spa businesses.
In its first phase, 12 such businesses were shut down for peddling prostitution, officials said.
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders