EL PASO, Texas – Local and state officials have shut down a west El Paso massage parlor where they contend "illegal activity occurs habitually."
Friday's closure of New Health Spa Massage at 6330 N. Mesa Street came by way of a judge's order after the El Paso County Attorney’s Office said a year-long investigation documented how the massage business had engaged in illegal sexual conduct.
"Violations include operating without a license, hiring unlicensed therapists, failing to keep records on clients and employees, and offering sexual contact," said County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal.
Bernal said investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the El Paso Police Department Vice Unit utilized surveillance and undercover operations to uncover the violations. They also found evidence suggesting human trafficking took place there, she added.
Judge Alyssa Perez, who ordered the facility's closure, has scheduled a Nov. 1 hearing to determine the future of the business.
This is the latest action in an on-going crackdown, first detailed late last year by ABC-7, that targets massage parlors suspected of being fronts for prostitution and human trafficking.
“The pandemic has not slowed down our efforts to protect residents from criminal activity and assist suspected victims of sexual trafficking,” Bernal said in making her announcement about Friday's parlor shut down.