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Detectives raid, close Berks massage spa they say was front for prostitution

A Douglassville massage spa that operated as a front for a house of prostitution has been shuttered after a raid by Berks County authorities, county detectives said Thursday.

Detectives with the Berks County District Attorney’s Office and Amity Township police entered Body Health Traditional Chinese Tui Na, also known as Body Health Asian Massage Spa, along Route 422 westbound on Wednesday with a search warrant. Tui Na is a form of massage therapy that originated in ancient China.

They arrested Ligin Lin, 34, no permanent address, on prostitution charges. She was free on $20,000 bail following arraignment before District Judge Steven Chieffo in Reading Central Court.

Detectives provided the following information in the search warrant application:

The investigation, which is ongoing, stemmed from complaints received since 2020 from residents. They believed the spa in a shopping strip that includes a health food store, a dry cleaning business, a cafe, a family dentistry practice and an urgent-care center was operating as a house of prostitution.

Suspicions were based on observations that male customers exclusively patronized the business and that the doors were locked when the business was open, requiring customers to ring a doorbell to be let inside.

One citizen who went to the business for a legitimate therapeutic massage was offered sex in exchange for money. The customer immediately left and contacted Amity police.

Detectives working under the auspices of the Berks County Human Trafficking Task force used the internet to access information about the activities at Body Health. Additionally, customer reviews provided details of sex acts in exchange for money.

On Aug. 12, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office forwarded a complaint about the business to Berks detectives.

The complaint suggested the business was a brothel, noting the locked doors, heavy presence of exterior security cameras and the online ads. It also indicated there were numerous complaints from neighboring businesses.

In March, the task force launched an undercover investigation. A man entered the establishment and engaged in a conversation about sex acts for money.

Investigators obtained the search warrant from Chieffo.

On Wednesday, an undercover officer entered the business and requested a massage, during which the woman gestured to indicate a sex act and they negotiated a price.

Detectives stormed the business, confiscating cellphones, a ledger, an unspecified amount of cash and other items.

Amity Police Chief Jeffrey Smith said the storefront has been condemned by the township codes department for various code violations.

Source: Berkshire mont

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