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Details Into The Police Investigation Of Jade Massage

One arrest for alleged prostitution does not necessarily close the business as it appears the Jade Massage may have moved their operation down the road.

Last week, the arrested Yan Qin, 39, of New York for alleged prostitution while working at Jade Massage at 3 Post Office Square in Clinton.

Chief of Police Todd Lawrie explained the investigative process which began many months ago.

"Initially, our investigation yielded a straight massage shop with no verifiable information about anything other than massages taking place," said Lawrie.

More than a year ago, the Clinton Police put into place an investigation involving surveillance and a cooperating witness. There were no undercover policemen involved in the case.

They conducted a thorough investigation that involved months of work verifying, collaborating and researching, they said.

"We needed to cover all our bases and have an iron-clad arrest," said Lawrie.

The chief said in order to go to court with a warrant for an arrest, they needed a first-hand complaint by a client, which they did not have.

"We deal with facts, not speculation," he said.

Other complaints revolved around zoning issues such as the possible lack of permits, questions over the zoning for the massage business, lack of a massage license, department of health concerns, etc., that the police have heard.

"Normally these things are not a police matter they are a zoning matter," said Lawrie. "Unless they are breaking the law, the police are not involved in town zoning regulations."

Another issue involved the language barrier. All of the workers appeared to be Asian, said the chief, and possibly not in this country legally.

Lawrie sympathized with local businesses, but said clearly that complaints of teenagers soliciting, girls walking the streets, girls leaving the place of business with a client, girls conducting their business in vehicles parked on the street, etc., were "not true initially."

Business owner Catherine Zamecnik, who owns the next door to Jade Massage, disagrees.

"A photo of my store was initially in the photo on the internet ad for Jade Massage," said Zamecnik. "Guys were walking into my store wandering around and confused that it was a music store."

Zamecnik said when she first started complaining about the business, there were threatening messages left on her door and one of her customers had a brick placed on the roof of their car.

"It's nothing you can prove," she said.

Zamecnik said many parents drop off their kids at her store for music lessons.

"I feel it is my responsibility for these kids as they wait for their parents. I didn't want them possibly seeing what was going on next door," she said.

She said the massage operation should have been monitored very closely by the town - whether it was the police or zoning or another official.

"There's an easy fix here," she said. "The town needs to monitor a place like this daily or weekly to make sure every therapist has a valid license. Every time they change hands we need to see that license. We owe that to the customers and the community."

According to records in the town clerk's office, there is a Massage Therapist Permit Application on file for Yu Jing Hou, 47, of Linden Street, Valley Stream, New York, license #005681 current through April 30, 2012.  A phone number listed for this address on Whitepages was not working.

According to the town's zoning department, the 3 Post Office Square location is in the B3 zone which allows for retail businesses. A massage/spa/hair salon category falls under retail. A building permit for interior renovations was granted to Wentao Wang. The phone number on file for Wang was not in service.

The police are still investigating the business and are continuing to work with the town's zoning department and regional health department.

"There may be further arrests," said Lawrie.

Arresting one employee does not necessarily shut down a business, he said. If the town's zoning allows for the business and there is at least one owner of the business who is a licensed massage therapist, they can continue to run the business.

It does appear that Jade has moved to a new location at the corner of West Main Street and John Street at the entrance to the train station. There is a sign in front of the white building facing East Main. No one answered the door at the alleged new business location.

Vindaloo March 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM
When a spa calls themselves body works, it's their way of getting around the licensing issues. It means they are erotic, not therapeutic massage. That puts them in the category of adult entertainment, which the center of town is not zoned for. In therapeutic massage, the main therapists must have a license, but must be on the premises at all times. The other therapists must be in training and hold temporary licenses until they pass the state exams. Town hall had on file a license application for an employee who didn't work there anymore. The girl who was arrested wasn't allowed to obtain a license because of her arrest. The licensed supervisor was rarely on site. Monthly inspections of their license status of all their employees would have closed this place long ago. If the town took regular action on this type of activity, these places will soon learn that Clinton is too difficult and too smart to allow this kind of business. I guess that's not the case. That can easily be changed.
ellen stankiewicz March 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM
in this day and age, the only way to stop this kind of abuse is to shout it from the rooftops to anyone who will listen.businesses that contribute nothing to our town, dodge taxes, use illegal immigrants that give nothing back to the town and encourage undesirable customers to come here and trash our town and infect it with there poison need to be screened thoroughly and checked on when complaints are made by taxpaying citizens who have put their heart and soul into making clinton a place to be proud of.however overbooked their schedules are, P&Z has a responsibility to the taxpayers to investigate every complaint and follow up with the taxpaying citizen who files the complaint. no exceptions, no excuses.maybe it's time to trim the dead wood and plant some new trees.
Jane Scully Welch March 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Why and how were they ever allowed in.....who rented the place to them???? Did they not realize we really didn't need a "massage parlor" in OUR Post Office Square!!! Come on landlord!!!
Glenn Coffin March 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM
How are they able to now move to another location without going through the licensing process again? Does the license run with the business and is not tied to location? Further, isn't that section of Johns Street partially residential?
Vindaloo March 15, 2012 at 02:20 PM
St of Ct info on licensing and regs of massage parlors: www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389350 www.cga.ct.gov/2004/rpt/2004-R-0443.htm
Sheldon Potesak jr. March 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Great job by the Clinton Police. I am tired of people complaining that we have too many cops, we give to much money to cops, cops don't do anything in this town. This was well conducted investigation. Great job
Phil Sengle March 15, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Don't forget the Citizen's Police Academy starts next week. I just checked and they still have several openings. It's great if you just want to know about police work, or you are interested in a police career or you want to understand why investigations can be lengthy, etc. If you think you know about police work, you might find that your perceptions are incorrect. In any case it will be a worthwhile and interesting experience. Call (860) 669-0451 and press zero, Then ask for SGT. Dunn. Or you can pick up an applicaton at the P.D. Classes start next Tuesday the 20th.
Vindaloo March 16, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Now that we have had such an issue, This needs to be updated and town hall needs to be more diligent and cautious. http://www.amtactchapter.org/worddocs/LOT/ordinances/Clinton.pdf http://www.mcraega.org/media/f51793738a30c64effff89f6ffffe415.pdf
Phil Sengle March 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Catherine: I agree that "town hall needs to be more diligent and cautious". I would say that zoning enforcement in Clinton is near Zero.
Vindaloo March 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM
The police department and the town hall should be putting in a concerted effort to change the methods of regulating these places. According to the state, it is left up to each municipality to set the regulation methods. As you can read in the links I provided, many towns in CT and other states do a much better job of controlling these illegal activities in their towns. If our complaints were taken seriously, more pressure should have been put on town hall to monitor this place, and maybe others. I will be working toward helping the town make these necessary changes so that we don't ever deal with this BS again.

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