Everett spa’s license revoked amid prostitution allegations

EVERETT — It didn’t take long for an undercover Everett police detective to suspect that prostitution was occurring at a newly opened massage parlor in February.

A woman wearing blue lingerie greeted him. There were beds with night stands, but no massage tables. The detective had received professional massages over the years, and he quickly sensed that the woman had little training in massage.

There also had been suspicious references about the business on Backpage.com, a classified ad website that has been used to promote prostitution.

The city of Everett has revoked the massage parlor license for Happy Spa in the 11600 block of Highway 99. After an 80-minute hearing last week, the Everett City Council rejected an appeal from the business owner to have the license reinstated.

Records show that Everett police made four undercover visits between February and August and received a court-approved warrant to search the business. On each visit, detectives allegedly were offered sex for money. They reported that two workers at the massage parlor improperly touched them on three separate occasions.

City officials say two of the offers of sex for money and some of the improper touching occurred while Happy Spa was appealing a June notice of the city’s intent to revoke its license.

Two massage parlor employees were booked into the Snohomish County Jail last month for investigation of prostitution-related allegations.

In legal papers, attorneys for Sun Chon, 61, the out-of-state owner of Happy Spa, told city officials she did not know illegal activity was occurring at the massage parlor and that such activity was not allowed. She said she fired the employees involved. She also said she should have been given notice before the license was revoked, according to documents obtained by The Daily Herald through a public records request.

The city argued that a massage parlor license can be revoked without the owner’s knowledge of any illegal activity.

City attorneys are preparing an order for the council to sign. Once it is signed, the business will have 15 days to decide whether to appeal that decision in court.

“The city hasn’t received any indication one way or another whether they’ll choose to or not,” said Meghan Pembroke, a city spokeswoman.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

Talk to us

More in Local News

Work related to improvements at the intersection of Highways 9 and 204 will close a road and reduce lanes in Lake Stevens through Oct. 1. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Road disruptions starting around Highway 9 in Lake Stevens

Lane reductions and closures are part of the work to improve the intersection at Highways 9 and 204.

Genna Martin / The Herald
David Barney, owner of Barney's Pastrami on Evergreen, has changed the last names of the dozens of celebrities who's photos hang on the wall of his restaurant to Barney.  The newly named celebrities include Humphrey Barney, Uma Barney, Marilyn Barney, Olivia Newton-Barney and Stevie Ray Barney.  
Photo taken 11252014
Where’s Barney? His pastrami shop has served its last hoagie

Even the Evergreen Way deli’s landlord is looking for him. David Barney has vanished.

Cones near Lake Stevens school aid safety, add congestion

Police are working to reroute the drop-off and pick-up lines at Hillcrest Elementary School.

Rebecca Haskins (Everett Police Department) 20210913
Missing Everett teenager located

Rebecca Haskins had last been seen the morning of Sept. 4. Police reported her found Wednesday.

Jeremy Fuerst (Northwest Washington Synod)
Everett pastor dies while mountain climbing in Colorado

Pastor Jeremy Fuerst, 44, came to Central Lutheran Church in 2015.

Sultan police looking for tips after rash of car prowls

On Sunday, the department responded to 20 reports at Sportsman Park and trailheads near Gold Bar.

Arlington man allegedly killed by son is identified

Nicholi Melum, 63, had an argument with his son, Garner, last week and was shot.

State Supreme Court to hear case of Edmonds gun-storage law

In February, an appeals panel said state law pre-empts the city from enacting its own firearm rules.

Police: Marysville woman was killed, left in Chelan County

The woman was found dead alongside U.S. 2 on Sept. 7. The case is being investigated as a homicide.

Most Read