Spa owner cited after police investigation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The day after one of her workers was criminally charged, the owner of a Providence spa has been cited by police for not having a license.

Providence Police detectives went to Smilers Day Spa on North Main Street Tuesday as part of an undercover investigation into complaints about prostitution. There the detectives were allegedly solicited by 51 year-old Zhen Chun Jin of Flushing, New York, who worked there.

Police charged her in Providence District Court Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, officers went back to the business and met with 24 year-old Monica Chow, who owns the business. According to a police spokesperson, the officers told Chow that she and all her employees needed licenses issued by the Providence Board of Licenses, and none of them did.

As a result, Chow was summonsed for two counts of violating a body works establishment license, and was issued a cease and desist from continuing to operate the business.

Officers said they found four other women when they returned to the spa Wednesday, three of whom were hiding in “makeshift living quarters.” Besides not having city licenses, none were licensed massage therapists in Rhode Island.

Major David Lapatin said Wednesday that investigators did not believe there was any human trafficking involved but could not yet confirm that.