Massage Spa Owner Busted on Prostitution Charges

Police conduct citywide operation aimed at shutting down illicit parlors

Petaluma police arrested the owner of Westside massage spa Tuesday afternoon, part of a citywide crackdown on businesses suspected of engaging in criminal activity.

Jing Cai, 59, who is listed as the owner of China Massage, located at 410 Petaluma Boulevard South, was arrested on charges of prostitution and running a house of ill repute, police said. Also arrested was Le Chi Thi Ho, 51, an employee at the spa, formerly known as Moonflower Massage. Both women are Petaluma residents.

“We received numerous complaints about suspicious activity here, including customers coming in the late evening and staying for just a short time,” said Sgt. Jim Stephenson, who led the operation that focused on five local massage spas.

A search warrant was also served and on Tuesday officers were busy inventorying items and carting away files.

Earlier this year, Petaluma Patch wrote about local massage spas that are exploiting weak city and state regulations to engage in prostitution. Unlike most healthcare professionals, massage therapists are not required to be certified, unless they work in a city that demands it.

The spotty regulations are a boon for illicit businesses where women offer sexual services in exchange for large tips. 

“The first thing we look for is human trafficking, but if that can’t be determined, we look at criminal activity, whether there are pimps or money that is being dispursed,” Stephenson said.

In part because of Patch’s coverage (or so we have been told), Petaluma police have been working on an ordinance that would require all employees at massage establishments to undergo a background check, be fingerprinted and be regularly inspected by the Sonoma County Health Department.

It’s now scheduled to be presented and discussed at the December 3 City Council meeting.

“The department is looking at addressing some policy changes surrounding massage businesses because we understand that this is a quality of life issue,” said Lt. Dave Sears, the principal author of the ordinance.

San Rafael, Healdsburg, Napa, Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa all have massage ordinances that regulate certain aspects of the business.

Rayne Wolfe October 24, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Thank goodness. When a town has more massage "spas" than sushi joints it IS a quality of life issue. Common sense tells us that a "massage" business open past 10 p.m., serving only male customers is suspect. Of course, the police need to be cautious and respectful of all parties. Just glad to hear that Petaluma PD put the work into this effort. I hope they have a model other city pd's can use to keep these businesses out of Sonoma County.
Concerned Citizen October 24, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Rayne, The problem is that one particular "parlor" was operating in plain sight, just a few hundred yards away for the Police Dept. (and within 50' of a Montessori School) for months before anyone did anything. And that's the same place that was busted last year for the same thing!!! Why can't the city require that any Massage Parlor intending to operate within city limits be required to show proof of State Licensing for it's Massage Therapists? Other cities do it in order to dissuade "fake" therapists from setting up shop anywhere they feel like. Until then, that same Massage Parlor will open back up within a few weeks like it always had.
Karina Ioffee October 24, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Yes, requiring state licensing would severely hamper illegal spas from setting up and hiring people who are not true therapists. It's also true that there are at least half a dozen Petaluma spas that advertise their services on myredbook.com, myrubmaps.com and other similar sites. The police are aware of them and have told Patch they are looking into these establishments.
Goofpod October 24, 2012 at 04:41 PM
The article states the location on the Blvd South. Different establishment?
Karina Ioffee October 24, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Hi. I think Concerned Citizen is alluding to Golden Flower on Petaluma Boulevard North. http://www.rubmaps.com/erotic-massage-golden-flower-spa-petaluma-ca-5001#review-50361
Rich October 24, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Just wondering why we care if the person behind the closed doors of the message parlor is getting a little additional rub? It's not my thing, but they are two consenting adults.
Petaluman8tv October 24, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Rich, come on, be reasonable. We have way more police officers than we really need. Our town is 100% free of gangs, violence, theft and homeless problems. Our cops are just sitting around with nothing better to do. I'm so glad that Petaluma Patch is on the job, guiding our police force to do the truly important work that Petaluma needs done. My fervent hope is that the Patch will get the Fire Department on to the critical job of getting cats out of trees, next. They seem to be way too focussed on the peripheral activities of fires and medical emergencies.
Karina Ioffee October 24, 2012 at 09:52 PM
correction, that's rubmaps.com
Concerned Citizen October 24, 2012 at 10:16 PM
It's "Sexual Services" Rich...not an "extra rub". These women are being exploited for SEX, many of whom have been involved in the illegal sex trade, caught in a reprehensible circle of violence and abuse .Perhaps you ought to educate yourself before chiming in on a subject and looking foolish.
Concerned Citizen October 24, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Yes....the POLICE are aware. Our City Council, on the other hand, has NO clue. The PD can't implement laws, only enforce them.
Goofpod October 25, 2012 at 08:00 AM
Adults only? I think not. These "innocent" service providers couldn't care less if the client is 18 and over. Where does it stiop, with your 16 year old? Slime by any other name is slime.
mikeg55 October 25, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I don't see any exploitation going on here. These 2 women in there 50's were providing a service that was obviously wanted in town. No mention of a pimp or abuse. In this particular case it really looks like a victimless crime here. Now these "johns" who frequented the massage parlour might go the internet or to the street and who knows the circumstances of the female they might wind up with.
Mere October 26, 2012 at 12:15 AM
You would care a great deal if you have a legitimate business in the same complex and earning an honest living. See if your opinion changes when you have a business in this complex and have to deal with surly people coming and going and seeing condoms, etc...around. These low life's need to take their 'massage parlors' & get outta town. Would you like it if you were parked in the lot waiting for your relative to get their hair/nails done & the madame comes to knock on your car window to ask if you are there for sex? If I work hard to open a legitimate business I do want to share the business complex with deceiving low life's who say they are a 'massage parlor' Take a hike.
Concerned Citizen October 26, 2012 at 12:22 AM
You really have ZERO idea of how the Sex Trade works. Can you even imagine why women in their 50's have to prostitute themselves? Get educated.
mikeg55 October 26, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Boy Concerned Citizen, some people actually like sex. And like geting paid for it. Not everybody needs to be saved.
Concerned Citizen October 26, 2012 at 02:21 PM
And it's severely uneducated and Laissez-faire attitudes like yours that display the serious need for more awareness on this subject, especially regarding the Asian Sex Trade. You do realize that Criminal Elements (ie: Asian Mafia), pay to get these women to the U.S.(promised land) and abroad (Canada, EU), and in return, the women must pay these criminals back via prostitution. And because they prey on girls in their teens and young women, they become destine for a life stuck solely in the Sex Business, because that's the only way they know how to survive after spending years paying back these various Mafia groups? Get real, get educated.
mikeg55 October 26, 2012 at 07:02 PM
wow the Asian Mafia is in Petaluma!! OMG!!! run and hide!!!! And those poor women, they are on their 40th year of paying them back!!! Oh no!!! Aye yi yi yi, I'm so uneducated!!! Oh no, Concerned Citizen is a prude and taking it out on 2 ladies in their 50's. OMG OMFG
Concerned Citizen October 26, 2012 at 08:51 PM
TROLL. You obviously have no clue. I served on a Commission that investigated this very issue, and for you to make light of the situation serves as a reminder to us all that ignorance, on any level, should not be tolerated. You read this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking, then tell me with one single shred of decency you may have, how this is NOT a real problem.
mikeg55 October 26, 2012 at 09:45 PM
I don't know Concerned Citizen, you don't seem very tolerant of 2 ladies in their 50's just trying to make a living. When you have talked to the 2 ladies and confirmed they are victims let me know. Oh and I bet you look more like a TROLL than I do. Have a good weekend! Watch out for the Asian Mafia!!!
Another Concerned Citizen October 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
No Mikeg55, you actually appear here as shamefully ignorant. What Concerned Citizen said was accurate. For those of us who actually know people who have been victims of this slave trade, your ignorant, inflammatory comments simply paint a picture of hopelessness as long as fools like you fight for criminals in the name of "liberty." I hope you understand that your present activism in this public forum makes you just as guilty of promotion of this trade as those organizing and participating in it. Think about it. Your ignorance enables them. Meanwhile, women's lives are being ruined around the globe.
Legalize T Constitution October 27, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Concerned Citizen (s) you need to pull your head out of the sand and get a clue. Prostitution is the oldest job in the world and some people do CHOOSE to work in it, maybe you have heard of Las Vegas? The only solution would be to legalize "sexual services" so criminal elements cannot monopolize the activities. Regulation, not criminalizing, is the answer.
Concerned Citizen October 28, 2012 at 01:22 AM
And it Las Vegas, because it's LEGAL, it's REGULATED. So what? How does that protect the women NOW? The women in LV do have laws to protect them, they are guaranteed work-place safety, pay, health benefits and a myriad of protections. You need to pull your head out of somewhere, because in CA, women are being abused, strung out on drugs, extorted, you name it . How do we protect those women NOW...this minute?The citizens of CA have voted to keep the practice ILLEGAL, and that's how the abuse, enslavement, and issues keep occurring.
mikeg55 October 29, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Well, I've been put in my place now. Since it is clear I'm basically to blame for the 2 women in there 50's being prostitures, I have no choice now but to join the Asian Mafia.
Don grain November 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Hey my not soon enough tobe ex-wife prostitute herself with me for a year so she could take our daughter to the Philippines to be flower girl in a friends wedding and I got back to work so she wouldn't have to pay Alimony. At least at the massage parlors there's no deceit iIF the women are willing participants


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