Court document: Women arrested in spa raid thought to be living at business
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The women arrested during a multiagency raid of a Victoria spa also appear to have lived inside the location, according to a court document.
Foot Spa, 2806 N. Navarro St., was one of four locations simultaneously served a search warrant Tuesday afternoon, following an investigation into a suspected prostitution and international human trafficking ring.
Rongyu Li, 44, and Su-fang Liu, 48, were arrested on suspicion of engaging in organized criminal activity, according to Victoria County Jail records. They remained in custody in the county jail as of Friday afternoon but under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Marshals Service as federal inmates.
A three-day surveillance of the front and back exits of the Victoria spa revealed to officers that the three women working at the location never left the building with the sole exception of taking out the trash, according to the court document.
"Even during the night, all of the girls remained in the business and did not depart the location to go to a residence," Cody Breunig, a detective with the Victoria Police Department Cyber Crimes Unit, wrote in a report. "It appeared as if the three Asian females lived at the location."
Trash bags filled with standing soapy water were recovered from the dumpster outside the business, which Breunig stated he saw one of the women throw away. "It appeared as if these trash bags were used as impromptu showers," he wrote.
Victoria Central Appraisal District shows a Shaoyun Qu as the owner of the spa.
Qu, 40, of Houston, was arrested during the raid Tuesday at Q Spa in the 2700 block of the business route of state Highway 35 in Rockport on a warrant charging him with aggravated promotion of prostitution.
Authorities spent most of Tuesday afternoon searching the Victoria business.
Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig said evidence recovered at the scene supports the prostitution allegations. He did not elaborate on what the evidence was because of the continuing investigation.
The investigation into the Victoria spa began in May 2012 and shut down later that month because undercover officers and detectives did not receive a sexual solicitation after one visit to the spa. The investigation did not continue until a tip was received more than a year later in 2013.
Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, which licenses massage therapy establishments, said her department received a complaint about Foot Spa on Sept. 6.
"The complaint was anonymous. The complainant alleged the establishment was unlicensed and engaging in prostitution. We sent the establishment a cease and desist letter, which is what we do when that sort of thing comes to our attention. We also informed local law enforcement by letter (of the alleged prostitution), and that was sent on Sept. 17."
A website used by the investigating officer allowed an inside view into the spa, according to the court document. The website is a sexually based website that allows users to rate and review massage parlors and the sexual services offered.
According to the court document, comments posted detailed how to receive treatment at spas, and a general forum provided tips on what to do if an officer walks into a session.
Specific reviews about the Foot Spa provided information such as "once you go a couple of times, the girls get to know you and open up," and what the workers would and wouldn't let men touch.
An escort website described sexual activity beyond oral sex at the spa, according to the document.
Victoria Police Department officials said they cannot comment about the raid because the investigation is ongoing.