Cops Shut Down LIC Brothel
Police officials last week shut down a massage parlor in Long Island City where prostitutes did more than smile at their customers.
Cops said the establishment operating as the Smile Dawn Spa was a house of prostitution – located in a storefront attached to an apartment building with 30-plus residential units.
The spa is located at 34-05 37th Ave. (aka 36-63 34th St.) in the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City, in a residential neighborhood.
The business opened early this year and has been under investigation by police at the Queens Vice Enforcement Squad for more than four months.
Detectives assigned to the Vice Squad conducted three sting operations at the business between February 2 and March 22 that resulted in six prostitution and prostitution-related arrests.
Police posted an Order To Show Cause at the premises on May 18 and filed paperwork at the Queens Supreme Court in Jamaica calling for a court order to permanently shut down the illegal business.
The Order To Show Cause prohibits operators, employees and representatives of the brothel from entering the premises and using it as a house of prostitution.
Police will inventory all personal property, furniture, fixtures and other items inside the premises to document use of the business for prostitution or related activities, the order states.
According to paperwork filed by the NYPD Legal Bureau, female employees at Smile Dawn Spa offered sex for cash to the vice detectives on February 2, March 22 and March 29, giving cause for the NYPD to seek to permanently close the premises under the city Nuisance Abatement Law.
The law requires “two or more criminal convictions of persons for acts of prostitution” at a location to provide sufficient evidence of the public nuisance.
The location will remain shuttered until the court makes a final determination of the facts. At that time, the court can issue a permanent injunction to shut down the business, law enforcement sources said.
Police officials at the 114th Precinct alerted the vice squad earlier this year when neighborhood residents complained of the illegal activity at the massage parlor.
Officials at the Dutch Kills Civic Association applauded the closure and urged the court to shut down the business for good.
“We have no patience for this type of operation in our community,” Civic President Gerald Walsh said.
“Dutch Kills is one of the fastest growing residential communities in Queens – and we will not tolerate this type of business to operate in the middle of our resurgence as a family oriented community.”