Board considers updating county massage parlor rules - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Nov 14 @ 1:05PM
 

Board considers updating county massage parlor rules

Updates proposed following arrests for prostitution

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — After a recent string of arrests of local massage parlor employees for prostitution and providing illegal sexual acts, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is revisiting county policy governing the establishments.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the board wants to make sure the county has a consistent list of acceptable zonings and usages of places like massage parlors.

In November 2015, the county adopted a massage/spa ordinance in an attempt to prevent illicit activity.

“The whole purpose of the ordinance is that there are legitimate businesses being run,” Jarrard said.

When first introduced, employees of “legitimate” massage businesses were “quite vocal” about the ordinance, Jarrard said.

Commission Chairman Todd Levent said the purpose of the updates and ordinance is so if a license is revoked, a new owner cannot come in and start the business back up.

The proposal will be considered at the July 11 board work session after Jarrard drafts proposed changes to the massage/spa ordinance. Additionally, Jarrard was directed to look into vape shop ordinances and zonings.

“There is some argument that all of these businesses might be unique to the area where you’re actually zoning the property,” Jarrard said. “Having a harmonized set of ‘no-nasties’ may not make sense in every situation.”

Jarrard said he will examine whether there are specific county zonings that tend to be a magnet for instances like this. Just like the county’s alcohol license ordinance, Jarrard said they could set something up where the license would be revoked after certain infractions.

“The county has enjoyed success the last month or so with administration hearings,” Jarrard said. “There is still some more ground to hoe.”

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has conducted multiple massage parlor raids since the inception of the ordinance in 2015.

In March 2016, the office conducted a large operation targeting illegal massage parlors in the county, many of which are now shut down.

Deputies went to 15 massage parlors March 11 that had not complied with the new ordinance during the grace period. In total, 18 citations were issued to 10 of the massage parlors. Five were closed and remain shuttered. Others remain temporarily closed until they can come into compliance with the ordinance.

In January, Eun Kang, a 44 year-old female and employee of Healing Touch Massage Parlor, 1525 McFarland Parkway, was arrested Jan. 23 and charged with prostitution. In May, that business’ massage/spa license was revoked.

Also in May, another undercover operation found three businesses attempting to provide illegal sexual acts, leading to three arrests.

The businesses cited are:

Edge Massage Therapy, 765 McFarland Parkway, Suite C, Alpharetta; Suk Yong Holman, 54, of Atlanta, was arrested for prostitution, cited for not being clothed appropriately and for fondling the genitals of another.

Yuan Massage, 7810 McGinnis Ferry Road, Suite 107, Suwanee; Feng Wang, 52, of Norcross, was arrested for masturbation for hire and keeping a place of prostitution.

“A” Massage, 2255 Callaway Court, Suite 400, Cumming;

Jinjie Guo, 40, of Duluth, was arrested for masturbation for hire.

This is the second arrest the sheriff’s office has made this year for a sexual act for hire at Edge Massage Therapy.

A follow-up investigation is underway and may result in other charges, authorities said.

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