County attorney seeks to shut down NW Houston massage parlor

July 27, 2012 3:38:01 AM PDT
The owners and operators of a northwest Houston spa are accused of organized criminal activity and human trafficking, among other things.

Now there's a chance the customers there could also end up in legal trouble. On Thursday, the Harris County attorney filed a lawsuit to shut down the spa.

Vince Ryan calls the Diamond Spa on Kuykendahl and FM 1960 a nuisance and hopes to close it for good.

The massage parlor is next door to a counseling center and a church and there are several homes nearby. Several people familiar with the business know exactly what's going on inside of it.

There was no answer at Diamond Spa when we stopped by on Thursday, and the massage parlor soon could be closed for good.

"We must always keep monitoring what's going on in our community," one resident told us.

The Harris County Attorney's Office has been monitoring Diamond Spa since last January. Since then, it's been cited seven times for unlicensed massage services.

Now, the county attorney has filed a lawsuit, claiming the business is an "unlicensed massage parlor engaged in prostitution, human trafficking, and organized criminal activity."

Dr. Jim Rishel just heard about the lawsuit. He runs a counseling center just next door to the spa.

"Twice they've flooded the whole area, from the cleaners to the barber shop to us, because of all the condoms in the sewer system," Rishel said.

He's even installed a video camera outside the spa, hoping to discourage customers.

"So when you walk in front of that light, that light goes on, and then maybe they'll stop going into there, because I don't think it's right that they're doing this in a residential neighborhood,"

The county attorney is also hoping to punish customers. He warns that anyone who's engaged in illegal activity can be prosecuted.

KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy weighed in on that remark.

"The chances a customer will be charged are minuscule. You'd have to prove they engaged in prostitution and that would be mean the supposed prostitute would have to testify," Androphy said.

The county attorney says at least nine charges are pending against the spa.

Those who live near it say they'll be closely following the latest developments.

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