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 She also said she should have been given notice before the license was revoked, according to documents obtained by The Daily Herald through a public records request.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

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
As omicron surges, frustrations and challenges mount in correction facilities

More than 10% of those in state prisons are infected. “We’re kind of in this Twilight Zone cycle,” one prisoner said.

The Washington National Guard arrived Friday at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to help with a surge of COVID-19 cases at the hospital. (Providence) 20220121
State offers free home tests; National Guard arrives in Everett

Supply is limited at a new online portal, but Washingtonians can now order five free rapid COVID tests.

vote
Ballots sent for special election on public schools’ funding

Levies to pay for staff, programs, computers and capital projects are on the Feb. 8 ballot across Snohomish County.

FILE - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson talks to reporters, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, during a news conference in Seattle. In a 5-4 decision Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, the Washington Supreme Court upheld an $18 million campaign finance penalty against the Consumer Brands Association, formerly known as the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Ferguson sued the group in 2013, alleging that it spent $11 million to oppose a ballot initiative without registering as a political committee or disclosing the source of the money. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Washington justices uphold $18M fine in GMO-labeling case

Big grocers funneled dark money into a campaign against genetically modified labels on food packaging.

Closing this bedroom door during an apartment fire in Everett helped contain flames, smoke and carbon monoxide, firefighters say. (Everett Fire Department) 20220120
Crucial move during Everett fire: Closing the bedroom door

Two residents were rescued from a bedroom at the Riverdale Apartments. In all, three were injured.

Judge: Sex abuse of former Marysville student violated law

A woman sued the district last year, accusing a longtime art teacher of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Police respond in downtown Everett after a man collapsed with a gunshot wound Nov. 27, 2021. He later died. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Everett police continue to investigate November killing

Jerome Burnett, 48, died at the hospital. A suspect fled, according to police.

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw
Snohomish County judge accused of ‘needlessly’ exposing staff to COVID

Adam Cornell argues the incident reinforces a need to suspend jury trials, as omicron wreaks havoc.

Most Read