According to a press release from the Town of Ulster Police, on Tuesday, May 6, the UPD, state troopers and the URGENT task force conducted an undercover operation looking for prostitution in spas in the two towns.
Seven establishments were checked to see if they were offering sex acts for money, as well as if they met state licensing requirements. Out of the seven, the release stated, a total of five were found to not be in compliance. All five were found to be providing massages without proper state licenses and three were found to have offered to perform sexual favors to undercover officers for money. The two establishments in compliance with state licensing requirements were Tranquility Day Spa and The Red Lantern Foot Spa, both located on Ulster Avenue in the Town of Ulster, the release stated.
- Kingston resident Shan Su, 43, of the Kingston Spa on Morton Boulevard. Su was charged with the misdemeanor of prostitution and the felony of unauthorized practice.
- Flushing resident Yingyu Li, 61, of Spa Valhalla on Ulster Avenue. Li was charged with the misdemeanor of prostitution and the felony of unauthorized practice.
- Manhattan resident Zhao Mingxia, 45, of Blue Spa on Boices Lane. Mingxia was charged with felony unauthorized practice.
- Flushing resident Metzi Huang, 49, of Day Spa on Ulster Avenue. Huang was charged with felony unauthorized practice.
- Flushing resident Choon Hez Kim, 42, of Day Spa on Ulster Avenue. Kim was charged with felony unauthorized practice.
- Port Ewen resident Pook Choi, 52, of Sunshine Spa, Broadway, Port Ewen. Choi was charged with the misdemeanor of prostitution and the felony of unauthorized practice.
Su, Li, Mingxia, Huang and Kim were all processed and arraigned before Ulster Town Justice Susan Kesick and released on their own recognizance. Choi was arraigned in Esopus Town Court and sent to Ulster County Jail on $5,000 bail or a $10,000 bond.
According to the release, the investigation was launched after complaints about the establishments were received by the Town of Ulster supervisor’s office. “Landlords were contacted by the supervisor’s office, [which] raised concerns for them allowing these types of businesses to infiltrate our community,” the release stated. “As a result of this investigation, the town board will be reviewing its town code for possible changes in dealing with these establishments.”