Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police, in cooperation with the Third Judicial District Attorney's Office, have charged three women who were employed at the massage parlors suspected of providing illegal services to their male clientele.
Suk Cha, 62, and Myung Hee Ok, 49, employees of Bally Hot Stone Spa at 1685 Don Roser Dr., and Hyang Sook Kim, 45, employed by Green Hot Stone Spa at 2903 Hillrise Dr., are charged with one count each of promoting prostitution and accepting earnings of a prostitute. Cha was arrested Wednesday. Ok and Kim were arrested Thursday.
On Wednesday, Aug. 24, officers from the Las Cruces Police Department's Special Services Section, and agents from the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement initiated search warrants on the two businesses. FBI and ICE agents are investigating whether immigration or trafficking laws were violated.
Cha is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $20,000. Ok and Kim are being held without bond. Another female employee of the Green Hot Stone Spa was interviewed but has not been arrested or charged.
Although both businesses appear to be similar and both are being investigated simultaneously, agents believe they have separate ownerships and were not acting collaboratively.
In April 2011 Las Cruces Police learned of an advertisement for Bally's on Craigslist that offered "Beautiful, friendly Asian staff waiting for you." The ad also included a seductive photo of an Asian woman. Investigation also found erotic assessments of Bally's and the Green Hot Stone Spa on Internet sites that cater to and review escort services.
Over the next few months undercover agents visited both businesses and were offered sexual services in exchange for cash. The agents did not accept the offers but did gather enough evidence to support search warrants.
In July 2011 a sales representative from a local newspaper visited Green Hot Stone Spa and actually sold advertisement to the business. Approximately one month later the sales representative returned to the store but was told that the spa no longer wanted to advertise in the newspaper because too many women were asking for appointments and Green Hot Stone only catered to men.
Investigators learned that Kim was paid to perform sexual favors at Green Hot Stone. Cha was employed by Bally's as a cook and parlor maid. Ok was employed to provide massages and perform sexual favors for male clients of Bally's.
Investigators discovered that employees of Bally Hot Stone hid condoms in a clean mustard bottle that was kept in a refrigerator inside the spa. Investigators have also gathered records and surveillance photos of customers who visited the parlors. Detectives are continuing their investigation and are attempting to locate the owners of both spas.
Investigators would like to interview customers, or clients, of the businesses and suggest that it is in their best interest to initiate contact with police. Anyone who has patronized Bally Hot Stone Spa or Green Hot Stone Spa is asked to call detectives at (575) 528-4222 or send contact information via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.