August 26, 2013

S. Portland massage parlor shut down

The city says the Red Stone Spa was offering at least one sexual massage service.

By Matt Byrne mbyrne@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SOUTH PORTLAND — The city said Monday it has shut down a Broadway massage parlor because it had no business license and was offering at least one sexual massage service.

click image to enlarge

The Red Stone Spa at 585 Broadway in South Portland.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

Police and the city ordered the Red Stone Spa at 585 Broadway closed on Aug. 19, after officers investigated a week earlier and found that the business was offering so-called "table showers," or nude rubdowns of patrons.

"The Police Department has evidence that one or more massage therapists ... are providing massages to clients whose genitals are exposed," wrote South Portland police Officer Jeffrey Caldwell in a letter to the spa's two proprietors dated Aug. 20.

That particular practice constitutes a violation of a 1997 city ordinance that defines such businesses as "adult use establishments" and gives the City Council the final approval of their business licenses. There are currently no businesses licensed in South Portland to provide such services, and no one has tried to legally establish one in at least the past two years, said Jessica Hanscombe of the city clerk's office.

Red Stone Spa, housed in a white, one-story structure between two banks and in front of a dry cleaners, was not open Monday. The owners, Lucy Louie of Morrisville, N.J., and Lan Song Liu of Flushing, N.Y., could not be reached for comment at phone numbers listed for them in state licensing records.

Nowhere on the building's exterior is the business's name identified, and some windows were blocked with black material. A handful of signs were visible in the window, offering massages for $50 and $60 per hour. Signs also offered generic "massage" and "body work."

Both Louie and Liu are licensed massage therapists in Maine, but according to South Portland police, workers at the spa who were performing the massages were not licensed.

Because the business had not registered with the city to obtain a license, it was unclear how long it had been offering services to customers. City workers began looking into Red Stone's owners in December, said Hanscombe.

Nearby business owners declined to comment on the establishment, but a resident on Broadway, Justin Levesque, said he walked by the business frequently and suspected it was not legitimate.

"It's really only open at night," said Levesque, adding that he noticed cars with out-of-state plates parked at the business. "It definitely doesn't look upstanding (with) the blacked-out windows and the odd-looking exotic posters."

Matt Byrne can be reached at 791-6303 or at:

mbyrne@pressherald.com

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