Massage Parlors Are 'Open,' But Doors Are Locked, Leading To Many Questions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Spas are accused of selling sex in Brooklyn. Community leaders claim more than a dozen shops have popped up in recent months.

Now they’re asking police to crack down, CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported Friday.

They are shrouded in secrecy.

“It’s happening quickly and it doesn’t seem like anybody’s watching,” resident Jeanine Bardo said.

Spas and massage parlors are popping up all over streets in Bay Ridge, with curtains drawn and accused of peddling sex.

“We’ve been told some of them you can’t go into except maybe by appointment because the doors are locked,” Community Board 10 chair Joanne Seminara said.

“You can walk a five-block radius and you come across three or four of them,” Bardo added.

They are in the middle of residential blocks and are locked up, despite the “open” signs. CBS 2’s Schneider confronted a man who claimed to own a building, which has a massage shop on the ground floor.

Schneider: “People around here are concerned about what’s going on inside.”

Owner: “They’re just friends of mine and everything is perfectly legal.”

Schneider: “Well, then can we take a look inside?”

Owner: “No, you can’t.”

Schneider: “We can’t take a look inside, yet everything is legal?”

Owner: “Everything’s legal.”

Police are cracking down on these establishments. On Thursday they arrested two women at a “body work” spa, saying they offered undercover officers sex for $40.

Surveillance video shows the cops leading one of the employees away.

“We’ve also received reports and they’re increasing more recently of people being solicited on the street to come in,” Seminara said.

Schneider spotted one customer leaving a shop, but he refused to speak to CBS 2.

The spa is advertised on the website, where customers rave about the very personal services the employees provide.

People who live in the neighborhood said they are fed up.

“You’re subjecting your kids to walking by and seeing this kind of stuff? It’s not right. This is a residential neighborhood,” Paul Bardo said.

It’s a neighborhood the people say needs to be cleaned up.

Police said they’ve received numerous complaints from people around the area, and they are continuing their investigation.

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