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PAWTUCKET â€” Following a several months' long undercover investigation by Pawtucket Police, two women were arrested on prostitution charges at two local massage parlors/spas.
According to Police Major Arthur Martins, police had received information alleging that some or all of the massage parlors/spas located in the city were offering sex for money. He said that all of the sites were visited by undercover police officers to determine whether any illegal activity was taking place. Two of the businesses were found to be in violation of Rhode Island General Laws regarding the providing of sexual services in exchange for money.
The two establishments where prostitution activity is alleged to have taken place is the Harmony Spa, located at 11 Benefit St., and the Far East Accupressure, located at 72 East St. In each incident, an undercover police officer was offered a sexual act in exchange for currency; arrests were subsequently made, Martins said.
On February 11, Byeong Shin, 46, of Pawtucket, was arrested at the Harmony Spa and was charged with prostitution. On Feb. 18, Jung Sook Choi, 36, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was arrested at the Far East Accupressure and was also charged with prostitution.
Martins said that both of these businesses are still operating. However, he said that investigations into these businesses will continue and are ongoing.
Last month, a TV station's undercover investigation turned up an alleged illegal massage parlor called The Daily Spa, that had been operating in a storefront at 506 Armistice Boulevard. The property was owned by the mother of City Councilor Albert Vitali Jr.
According to the Target 12 Investigation, a TV producer alleged that he was propositioned by a spa employee and was offered a sex act for money. Following the TV news report, that spa quickly shut down and no arrests were made. Vitali denied having knowledge of any criminal activity at the site.