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3 arrested in Clovis massage parlor investigation

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Clovis police are cracking down on massage businesses offering more than just a rubdown.

They conducted their second bust at Clovis massage parlors in the last five months, and police say one of the businesses is a repeat offender. They arrested Xia Feng Liu, Janel Hoover, and Wang Ying Tuesday night on prostitution charges -- at three different businesses.

Clovis police are sending a loud message, using a massage business in a quiet strip center on the north side of Old Town Clovis. China Massage is one of three parlors where the doors are now closed, possibly for good.

Customers at the massage establishment may have been getting more than just the full body massage advertised on the front window. Police say prostitutes operated out of the parlor. It was the type of business where you didn't need a password to get more than what's listed on the menu.

"You could just walk in and likely be propositioned if you look like a likely candidate," said Clovis police Corporal Vince Weibert.

Neighbors in the strip center say they felt trapped between heaven and hell -- a Christian book store at one end of the building, prostitution at the other. The police bust shutting down the parlor had them feeling a little closer to heaven.

"Praise God," said Gayle Harper. "Yeah. It's a good thing."

Three doors down, in the Artistic Hair and Nail salon, Harper was suspicious of the massage parlor. She says the parking lot often filled up with shady characters.

"It's a little intimidating to clients and there's a lot of Christian people who come in here, so it's not a good vibe," Harper said.

Police arrested three accused prostitutes Tuesday. They also shut down two other massage businesses -- Oriental Wellness Garden in Old Town, and Lanna Thai Spa across Shaw from the Sierra Vista Mall. It's part of a months-long effort to stop the sex business in Clovis. Another sweep in October targeted six businesses. China Massage was caught up in both raids.

"It's very brazen on China Massage's part to go ahead and have a second violation in the course of just a couple months," said Cpl. Weibert.

Police revoked massage permits from all three parlors busted Tuesday. They have 15 days to appeal that decision.

The three women who were arrested are not in jail, but they are facing misdemeanor charges.

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prostitution, crimetracker, clovis, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
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