HAVERHILL — The owner of a massage parlor and a worker there have been arrested and charged with committing sex crimes at the business.
The two women were arrested at the Tui Na Body Works massage parlor on Route 97, Broadway, Thursday night, police said.
Detective Capt. Alan Ratte said complaints from neighbors of the business at 800 Broadway led police to watch the massage parlor, which is licensed by the city.
Late Thursday afternoon, an undercover detective was sent to the business to get a massage.
"The massage got to the point where it was indecent assault and battery," and the detective was able to signal other nearby officers, who came into the parlor and made the arrests, Ratte said.
Jing Hui Liu, 28, of 10 Perkins Court, was charged with keeping a house of prostitution and sexual conduct for a fee.
Rong Chen, 43, also of 10 Perkins Court, was charged with sexual conduct for a fee and indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.
The arrests occurred at 6:50 p.m. Officers obtained a search warrant and returned to the business about 10:32 p.m., police said.
A search of the premises turned up business cards and equipment "conducive to the massage and prostitution trades," Ratte said.
The mini-mall that houses the massage parlor is on Route 97, one of the main roads into Haverhill. West Meadow Hill, a complex with 500 condominiums, is nearby, as are many upscale single-family homes. Across the road from 800 Broadway is the West Congregational Church.
The massage parlor — Tui Na — is named after a form of Chinese manipulative therapy. According to a website, Tui Na uses rhythmic compression along energy channels as well as a variety of techniques that manipulate and lubricate the joints. It affects the flow of energy by holding and pressing the body at acupressure points.
The women will be arraigned Wednesday in Haverhill District Court. Their arraignment was expected to happen yesterday, but the court needs a Mandarin Chinese interpreter present for the hearing. That has been arranged for Wednesday.
Liu and Chen remain free on their own recognizance, authorities said.
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