The city police detective investigating allegations of prostitution at two massage parlors testified in court Friday that authorities are looking at additional criminal charges against four people who have been arrested.
Preliminary hearings were held Friday in Warren District Court for the owner of Blue Sky Massage on Dishman Lane and the owner and two other employees at Lavender Massage on Russellville Road.
Li Jionggang, 55, the owner of Lavender Massage, is charged with promoting prostitution (two or more prostitutes), engaging in organized crime and practicing massage therapy without a license.
Two of his employees, Lu Caiyuan, 54, and Lu Yuanying, 46, are charged with engaging in organized crime and practicing massage therapy without a license.
Huadi Chen, 44, who owns Blue Sky Spa, has been charged with promoting prostitution (two or more prostitutes), second-degree wanton endangerment and practicing massage therapy without a license.
City police arrested the four people in separate investigations last week.
On Friday, Warren District Judge John Brown sent their cases to the grand jury.
Detective Ryan Dillon of the Bowling Green Police Department testified that his investigation into Lavender Massage began July 9 after receiving a referral from Social Services that specifically referenced Jionggang and appeared to be made by a local bank.
The referral said Jionggang often walked into the bank accompanied by different women and he does not allow them to control their own money, according to Dillon.
“Mr. Li was always belligerent not only with the women he’s with, but also the bank staff,” Dillon said.
Dillon and BGPD Detective Rebecca Robbins surveilled the business July 10 and noticed that only male customers were entering and leaving the business.
After stopping a patron who had left the business and who told police he had gotten a massage there, detectives went into Lavender and encountered Jionggang, Caiyuan and Yuanying.
Speaking to them with the help of an interpreter, police learned that Caiyuan and Yuanying had given massages and were not licensed, and they were cited July 10 and told to no longer give massages without proper licensing.
Three days later, Dillon drove by Lavender and noticed the business appeared open and a truck parked outside the front entrance.
Dillon testified that he had received tips from city code enforcement officials about illegal activity at Lavender as well as Blue Sky and, with the help of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, discovered 17 advertisements on websites promoting commercial sex that contained Lavender Massage’s address and phone number.
Detectives had also located messages by multiple users on local online sex forums discussing sex acts they had received at Lavender, Dillon said.
Jionggang, Caiyuan and Yuanying denied doing anything illegal at the time of their arrest.
“Detectives have since located at least one individual who confirmed he received a sex act inside Lavender Massage that he paid for,” Dillon said. “I’m working on getting bank records.”
The detective said he is also working on identifying the users in the online forum who mentioned paying for sex acts at Lavender.
Jionggang said he paid for the advertisements that appeared on online sex forums but he did not know who placed them on the site, Dillon said.
“I believe (Jionggang) has another massage parlor in Franklin that is open,” Dillon said.
Blue Sky Massage was mentioned in 39 separate ads listed on online commercial sex forums in a 30-day span, according to the detective, who said information he received during the investigation into Lavender led him to look into the second massage parlor.
The city’s licensing division shows Blue Sky registered as a business for foot massages, but the business advertised full body massages.
Police executed a search warrant at Blue Sky on July 12 after conducting surveillance, and detectives using an alternative light source found evidence of bodily fluids on the beds, floors, light switches and walls, Dillon said.
The sheets on the massage table were dirty as well.
“We believe that the male clientele that we saw coming and going in the business that day received massages as well as other stuff on very dirty, unsanitary sheets,” Dillon said.
Chen initially denied any illegal activity, but later mentioned to police that “she can’t help it if men uncontrollably masturbate,” Dillon said, adding that she does not help clients with any sex acts.
The detective said police have identified two possible employees at Blue Sky and that Chen gives rides to another employee to a parlor on River Street. Detectives have interviewed at least seven people regarding illegal activity at Blue Sky and that authorities are considering human trafficking charges for Chen.
Questioned by Chen’s attorney, Peter Gray-Whiteley, Dillon said police have not interviewed anyone who has admitted to a sex act July 12.
Chen’s bond was modified to $6,000 secured by 50 percent cash, while Brown kept the bond of the three Lavender employees at $10,000 cash.