Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has won a temporary injunction closing seven “spas” where a number of arrests for prostitution had occurred.
Judge Jeff Shadwick signed the order on Monday, August 22, closing the businesses as common nuisances. They are located throughout the city of Houston:
- “A” Spa, owned by Karl Todd Erickson, and New Haven Spa, owned by Zhang Yu Juan, both located at 8320 Gulf Freeway
- Mam Spa and Paris Spa, 13662 Westheimer,
- Oak Spa, 9544 Richmond
- 249 Spa, 14901 State Highway 249
- JC Spa, 2900 Hillcroft
Dan Ma, the owner of the Mam, Paris, Oak, 249 and JC Spas, has previously been arrested and charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution in connection with his unlicensed spas.
The judge ordered the owners of four of the retail centers where the stores were located to stop leasing space to spas, massage establishments, and sexually oriented businesses, to perform background checks on future tenants, and to install cameras on their properties. The centers are located at 8320 Gulf Freeway, 9544 Richmond, 13660 Westheimer, and 2900 Hillcroft.
The owner of the center at 14901 State Highway 249 was ordered not to lease space to any tenant who operates an unlicensed spa, message establishment, a sexually oriented business, or a game room.
Alex C. Luk, who owns the Gulf Freeway and Westheimer properties, was ordered by a court in 2010 to stop allowing an unlicensed massage parlor to operate at 13662 Westheimer, where Mam Spa has been in business. Just last year, Luk was ordered to shut down unlicensed bars and game rooms operating at another property he owns on South Gessner. Luk was found guilty of violating that court order and punished for contempt.
Owners of the shopping centers and the spas were ordered to post $5,000 bonds each to insure their compliance with the court order.
“These so-called ‘spas’ are well known as fronts for prostitution,” said County Attorney Ryan. “Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their tenants are operating legal businesses and we will hold them to that.”
The trial in the case has been set for November.