The city is suing to shut down an alleged brothel in an East Village walk-up that touts “Asian masseuses” who “know how your body works.”
The NYPD launched a sting operation after a 911 caller complained about “prostitution activity” on the second floor of 84 E. 10th St. in June, papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court say.
Two undercover cops made separate visits on July 5 and 13, during which each was escorted to a room with a massage table where a woman entered and offered to have sex for $220, which they both declined, the suit says.
One of the cops returned on July 23 and was told the price had increased to $300, which he handed over before notifying his colleagues he made a “positive buy,” court papers say.
The Manhattan South Vice Enforcement Division then raided the place in search of evidence including “personal lubricants, sex toys, condoms and other devices or sexual aides that may be used for prostitution.”
The unidentified masseuse was also arrested and charged with prostitution, the suit says, but it’s unclear how her case was resolved and what evidence, if any, was seized.
In court papers filed Nov. 15, the city — which is also seeking damages of $1,000 for every day the alleged brothel was in business — argued that “arrests and criminal proceedings alone will not stop the illegal activity.”
“A closing order is the only effective remedy to immediately abate this serious public nuisance and protect the surrounding community,” NYPD lawyer Evan Gluck wrote.
On Nov. 20, Judge James d’Auguste signed an order temporarily shuttering the business, near Astor Place, and that same day an NYPD cop served copies of court papers on a female employee who gave her name as Kum Suk Mireles, records show.
A website for a “King Spa Asian Massage Parlor” operating at the East 10th Street address claims it’s open at the location 24-7 and features photos of buxom, young Asian women.
On Sunday, a sign on the door said the spa was “temporarily closed for renovation” and “will re-open in two weeks.”
Several Google reviews praised the service there, with one woman giving the place five stars and writing: “Clean, professional massage at a great price.”
But others suggested that more than massages were available.
“This place is exactly what you probably think it is. Very reasonable prices and great service. Ling Ling was very good at her job. I busted several nuts during our session,” one man wrote.
In a response, an account identified as the owner wrote: “Thanks for the great review. We are glad that you enjoyed your massage.”
A lawyer for landlord Elias Kalimian said eviction proceedings were underway against the tenant who’s been renting the $10,000-a-month space for more than eight years.
“We were under the impression that they were running a legal, licensed nail salon,” said lawyer Lisa Faham-Selzer of the law firm Kucker Marino Winiarsky & Bittens.
“We had no idea this was going on until we were sent papers….We’re trying to work with the city to get them out.”
A lawyer for the business has yet to file paperwork on its behalf, and the owner didn’t return a message seeking comment.