A 54-year old Asian masseuse was arrested for solicitation of prostitution by Oakdale police in May after a successful undercover sting at Island Spa.
According to Police Sergeant Joe Johnson, an undercover operative entered the establishment located at 730 East F Street on the afternoon of May 14. The undercover agent, who was wired to collect recorded evidence for the investigation, paid the listed fee for a one-hour massage. It was during the course of the massage that the masseuse whispered to the operative a proposition for a sex act.
At that point, Seo Sun, who was one of only two employees in the building at the time, was arrested for the misdemeanor charge of solicitation of prostitution. Following the arrest, the business closed willingly. Sun was booked later at Stanislaus Jail.
In April 2015, Arlin and Tammy Nusbaum, who own Nature’s Rx across the drive from Island Spa, had logged a complaint with the City of Oakdale concerning the spa. They assert that they witnessed a substantial drop in sales when they moved their vitamin and health food business in 2013 to the same complex as Island Spa. The Nusbaums stated their customers felt uncomfortable shopping where “a brothel” was in such close proximity. The couple asked the Oakdale Police to take action to shut down the spa, but failed to see any results.
Later in April, a local paper printed an expose´ revealing the suspected prostitution happenings at Island Spa after one of their reporters was solicited by an employee after requesting a massage.
However, the Oakdale Police Chief Lester Jenkins asserts that the suspected illegal activities at island Spa had been a focus of investigation by his department before the incriminating article was published.
He further asserts that he has conducted multiple meetings with the owner of the property in an attempt to convince her to evict the spa.
Additionally, Chief Jenkins has requested the city council impose a temporary 45-day ordinance banning the opening of any new massage parlors and preventing current businesses from expanding or relocating due to anxieties over prostitution, human trafficking, and similar activities these businesses are linked to. The Chief is hopeful the 45-day period will allow the city sufficient time to re-evaluate its current ordinance.
California municipalities now have greater control over zoning and land ordinance restrictions of these massage parlors due to the passage earlier in 2015 of an Assembly Bill.
The Bill was passed after 2009 law establishing the California Massage Therapy Council made it difficult for cities to regulate massage parlors and close those suspected of illegal activities.