Oak Park shuts down 'public nuisance' massage parlor

Owner of Wellness Spa agrees to cease operations

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

The village of Oak Park has permanently closed massage parlor Sunny Spa, which operated under the name Wellness Spa at 6617 North Ave. Village Manager Cara Pavlicek issued the decision following a Dec. 19 hearing. The business was declared a "public nuisance."

Allegations of masseuses employed at Wellness Spa sexually assaulting customers prompted an investigation and a sting operation carried out by the Cook County Sheriff's Office. 

According to the complaint hearing notice, obtained by Wednesday Journal in response to a Freedom of Information request, a male Wellness Spa employee "touched the sexual or genital areas of a customer while on the premises of the property" on Nov. 2, 2018.

Police arrested the employee on the charge of criminal sexual assault. The employee ultimately pleaded guilty to battery, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to two years of probation and a fine of $500 on Sept. 10, 2019. That same employee was also arrested for conducting massages without a license.

The charge falls in line with multiple Yelp reviews of the spa, wherein reviewers said they experienced treatment similar to the incident listed in the complaint hearing notice. 

 "I do not know what the name of the man was that did the massage," one reviewer wrote July 14, 2019, "but he was rubbing his penis on our hands and arms throughout the massage."

In a review posted Oct. 16, 2019, another reviewer wrote that, during her massage, a male masseuse "spent most of the time touching my butt and kept rubbing his small pathetic penis on me" and played with her hair. 

 The complaint also listed two separate occasions where undercover agents from the Cook County Sheriff's Police had their towels removed by a masseuse. 

"On May 21, 2019, an unknown employee of Wellness Spa removed a towel from a Cook County Sheriff undercover agent's lower body that exposed his genitals," the complaint reads. 

Nine days later, an incident with the exact same description took place.

Spa owner Xue E. Weng was issued two citations for the two instances and paid two fines of $50 in July of 2019.

The spa was slapped with further violations for employing a second unlicensed masseuse, who was arrested, and for failing to keep an updated list of licensed masseuses posted at the spa. 

According to the agreed order issued Dec. 19, Weng acknowledged the violations. Weng is also prohibited from applying for another business license to operate a massage parlor in Oak Park.

The order also states that, as the owner of the building, Weng can "sell the business located at the premises and may act as a landlord only for any subsequent business at the premises." 

However, no business can run under the name of the Wellness Spa at 6617 North Ave.

What Weng intends to do with the space remains to be seen, but a sign posted outside the premises Jan. 6 said, "Closed" and "New Management Soon."

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Reader Comments

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Veela Ammons  

Posted: February 9th, 2020 12:24 PM

I had been to Wellness Spa years ago. I had gotten a massage and even a colonic there. They were friendly, affordable, and gave great customer service. It only takes one bad apple. I had been so busy I hadn't been back. I even took my daughter and a friend for services because I thought they were trustworthy. I'm a praying woman. I believe you are protected even when you don't know you need protection. I believe I gave them a stellar review on Google several years ago.

Mikhail Ivanov  

Posted: January 10th, 2020 2:36 PM

Decriminalize prostitution and tax it...can it be far behind cannabis?

Tom MacMillan  

Posted: January 10th, 2020 10:20 AM

@ Paula - Being ironic. They are too busy taxing weed, which people used to be put in prison for and now it is the hottest product in DTOP. Can we use our Shopper's Reward coupons on it?

Paula Austin from Westchester  

Posted: January 9th, 2020 7:54 PM

Taxing sexual assault? How does that work?

Tom MacMillan from OAK PARK  

Posted: January 8th, 2020 3:55 PM

Once Governor Pritzker figures out how the tax these sorts of massages, the nuisance can be up and running with a line around the block trying to get in.

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