Members of the burgeoning movement to decriminalize sex work in New York went head to head Friday with City Councilman Peter Koo, who vowed earlier this month to work with the th Precinct and the Flushing BID to root out the massage parlors that are illegally doubling as brothels on 40th Road in Flushing, Queens. Koo and the NYPD hosted a packed event in the auditorium at Flushing Public Library Friday evening where they sought to educate audience members about how to recognize sex trafficking in various forms and report it to the police, emphasizing that people could report trafficking without revealing their immigration status. Protesters repeatedly invoked Yang Song, the Flushing massage parlor worker who, after cycling through the criminal justice system, died falling from a balcony during a police sting in November Before the fatal encounter, Song reportedly said she was being pressured by police officers to become an informant and reported being assaulted by a man who said he was a law enforcement officer. Although the NYPD said it would stop using condoms as evidence that suspects are engaging in prostitution following outcry from public health advocates in , police are still allowed to use them as evidence in sex-trafficking and promotion of prostitution cases. Gothamist reached out to the NYPD to find out if any other arrests were made in those cases.
Maspeth Massage Parlor Shut Down for Alleged Prostitution
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By Tamarra Kemsley and Brad Hamilton. Claire knows this well. On a sunny fall morning, she took the train from her home on Long Island to a storefront in Chelsea, where the windows were taped over with yellowing paper. Inside, it was as dark as a movie theater, the paper and heavy curtains blotting out any sunshine. The smell of sweat rose from the carpet. Soon the place would fill with customers, so Claire changed into a strappy zebra-print dress and steeled herself with a smile for the job of giving massages, and occasionally more, to a parade of men, something she does for 80 hours a week.
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The Grand Avenue massage parlor was shut down last week for alleged prostitution. Laura Hanrahan. A Maspeth massage parlor with a seedy history was shut down last week by court order due to alleged prostitution. This is not the first time the Grand Avenue parlor has been linked to prostitution, with several employees having been arrested for the crime in years past.
She was 49, a recent immigrant and deeply in debt to a loan shark back home in China when she answered an employment ad three years ago that promised thousands of dollars a month, but offered no job description. She realized too late that she had been tricked into working at a massage parlor in Flushing, Queens, where besides kneading backs, she was expected to sexually service up to a dozen men a day. In strip malls across the country, neon signs and brightly colored placards promise hot stones, acupuncture and shiatsu with photos of women or couples receiving relaxing shoulder rubs. But a traditionally Asian form of therapeutic relaxation with deep roots in big-city Chinatowns has spun off a different kind of massage parlor that has little to do with traditional remedies.