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The Open sign is still lit up, but Asian Massage Therapy on Lincoln Way in Auburn and Oriental Health Therapy in Nevada City, are permanently shut down on Thursday.
Owners Julie Feng and Phillip Hudson were served search warrants on Wednesday morning after months of investigation by Auburn Police Department for pimping, pandering and human trafficking.
On Thursday, Philip Hudson of Auburn bailed out of jail, but Xiu Jie “Julie” Feng was still listed as in custody of the Placer County Jail on Thursday afternoon.
The couple is charged with pimping and pandering, but Feng is also charged with Human Trafficking. Some of the employees from the business who were forced by Feng to perform sexual acts on customers for money now face deportation.
Another business owners adjacent to the massage parlor said that he wasn’t aware anything was happening next door, and was shocked to see the police raid on Wednesday. He also said he never really saw clients come and go from the business, just Feng and Hudson.
Building owners Marcello and Sarah Nolivo have owned the building for just 2 years. The massage shop was the first occupant to take up business in the dwelling.
According to Marcello, he has been inside the massage shop 2 times for maintenance repairs and said everything seemed normal and that the business was nicely decorated.
Marcello said the tenants were always on time with their rent and always paid with a company check. Marcello said that Asian Massage Therapy occupants are 1 ½ years into their lease, and he is not sure what will happen or if he will terminate their contract.
Sarah Nolivo said that they are not interested in supporting a business like that and assures that she was not aware of the business operations either.
Down the street from Asian Massage and Foot Therapy is a second massage therapy business, Red Lantern. The owners of the business, Ping and Horse Yang, insist they have nothing to do or any association with the business down the street. Ping feels that business might have been slower than usual on Thursday, but in her words, it’s World Cup time and they generally see a slow down during the cup.
Ping and Horse have been in business at their Auburn location for the past 5 years and have even won Auburn Journal’s Best of the Best title in 2013 for Best Massage.
The couple proudly displays all the required business licenses of therapists for customers to see as you walk in the front door. Along with those licenses are multiple certifications and diplomas from various courses they have taken over the past 25 years.
Ping said they run a legitimate massage business, and there are many businesses like Red Lantern that offer the same top quality massages at affordable prices.