Friday, October 13, 2006

Another Reason Why Ann Arbor Rocks

Spa busted in brothel sting
Police shut Ann Arbor site, saying women offered sex for money
Thursday, October 12, 2006
News Staff Reporter

The business card for Skin Care Philosophie advertises facials, hair removal, light touch massage and hot stone therapy.

The unwritten services, Ann Arbor police allege, include sex acts for money.

The business was shuttered late Tuesday as police arrested the owner and two employees in the latest undercover investigation tied to a potential brothel in the city. Police zeroed in on Skin Care Philosophie, operating out of an older office building behind a Dairy Queen on West Stadium Boulevard, after readers who saw an Ann Arbor News article on another brothel bust at the end of June called to offer tips, said Police Sgt. Brian Jatczak of Ann Arbor's Special Investigations Unit.

"I hope the message is becoming pretty clear that if someone opens up one of these, we're going to investigate and shut it down,'' Jatczak said.

Police believe Skin Care Philosophie opened at its current site in the 2300 block of Shelby Avenue earlier this year, but formerly operated as the Cypress Spa on Jackson Road in Scio Township. Neither business name appears to be registered with Washtenaw County, but Skin Care Philosophie registered with the state as a limited liability corporation in January.

The business owner could not be reached Wednesday.

Jatczak said his unit began investigating the business about six weeks ago and sent an undercover officer in, who was solicited by employees during massages that occurred with the women partially nude. He said the initial fee was $60, and prices discussed for sex acts varied from an average of $40 to $60.

"They appeared to be getting 10-plus customers a day,'' Jatczak said. "But we never saw any women go in there.''

Officers with the Special Investigations Unit, Crime Response Unit and Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team searched the business Tuesday evening, collecting financial records, ledgers and other evidence, Jatczak said. Authorities also searched the owner's South Lyon home.

Police arrested the 39-year-old owner and two employees - a 27-year-old Ann Arbor woman and 31-year-old Dexter woman. They were released pending charges that could include prostitution and operating a house of prostitution, police said.

A total of seven employees worked at the business, which was open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Jatczak said.

After the search was over, police padlocked the business.

Ann Arbor police began cracking down on potential brothels in 2001, closing five during simultaneous raids that emerged from a federal investigation. Additional spas were closed in December 2005 and last June.

It doesn't appear police investigated any potential prostitution at the spa when it was located in Scio Township. Washtenaw County Sheriff's Cmdr. Dave Egeler said the business apparently moved to the location in the 5100 block of Jackson Road between 2000 and 2001.

Deputies were called to the business five times from 2001 to 2004, for two burglary alarms, two medical emergencies and once for disorderly subjects, Egeler said. In that case, two men who appeared intoxicated refused to leave, and one was demanding sex, he said. Before deputies responded, an employee called back and said the men left, so no police response was needed, Egeler said.


Timmy D said...

What a confused little town we have... Pot? as harmful as a bad parking job. Sex? requires an undercover officer from the Special Investigations Unit in a sting to bust the evildoers and clear up the message.

(Look for "SIU: Ann Arbor" next year on ABC. My pilot follows the story of a cop who loses his badge for mysterious reasons, inherits an adult novelty store with a greenhouse in the back room, and begins a moral implosion that will bring his whole unit back for one last visit)

stewchang said...

Oh, thank god. I thought this news item was about the Oasis for a second. I'd hate to see that place go down.

Casey said...

I jsut love a story with a "happy ending".

equippedtofascinate said...

Okay, $60 for the massage, $60 for the "bonus," and 10 people a day. For $1200/day, I would think about offering myself in this kind of buisness. Any takers?

bethro said...

I was expecting it to cost more than $60 for the other business.