A massage parlor is no more in Saratoga Springs after two women are charged with unauthorized practices charges and prostitution. Police say it was just within weeks that they began hearing concerns about Happy Angel Spa. Innae Park has more.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The door is closed, the locks are changed at what used to be Happy Angel Spa at 58 Church Street in Saratoga Springs.
All signs are gone, but even when they were there on the lower floor, neighboring tenants say things there were under wraps.
Chantal Couture works for Saratoga Strategic Partners, LLC, which is located on the second floor of the building. “I never saw much in the way of activity down there,” she said. “Here we're working right upstairs and this was going on right underneath of us. Had no idea.”
Investigations Lieutenant Bob Jillson of the Saratoga Springs Police Department said, “We didn't have just the one report of it, we had other people calling us with concerns about it, thinking it was more than just a massage parlor.”
Police have now busted two women from Queens. Guirong Peng and Fengxiang Bai of Flushing were both charged with Unauthorized Practice under New York State Education Law Section 6512-1, a class E felony. Bai was also charged with prostitution. All this allegedly right in the Spa City's downtown.
“We're not immune to things like this. We don't like to think that it happens in our community, but we're not in a bubble,” said Lt. Jillson. “We can be exposed, our community can be exposed to such activity like this.”
One resident we spoke to said, “I think more of it happens than we're aware of. And if that's the way she had to make a living, more power to her.”
The massage parlor opened in November, according to police. By December, Lt. Jillson says the complaints began.
“It's really the participation and the reporting of the community to make us aware of concerns that they have,” said Jillson. “They take pride in their community and they appreciate that. It makes our job a little bit easier.”
And within three months, Spa City investigators say they were able to rid itself of one unwanted spa.