HOUSTON (KTRK) --Seven spas known as hot spots for prostitution will close after a judge issued a temporary injunction, the Harris County Attorney's Office says.
On Monday, Judge Jeff Shadwick signed the order, effectively closing the businesses as common nuisances.
County Attorney Vince Ryan says these locations are known for a number of prostitution-related arrests.
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The judge also ordered the strip center owners where the stores are located to stop leasing to sexually oriented businesses, in addition to spas and massage parlors.
The businesses include:
- "A" Spa, 8320 Gulf Freeway
- New Haven Spa, 8320 Gulf Freeway
- Mam Spa and Paris Spa, 13662 Westheimer
- Oak Spa, 9544 Richmond
- 249 Spa, 14901 State Highway 249
- JC Spa, 2900 Hillcroft
The owner of five of these businesses, Dan Ma, was previously arrested and charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution.
Ma and spa owners Karl Todd Erickson and Zhang Yu Juan were ordered to post a $5,000 bond to insure their compliance with the court order.
The judge says the strip center owners must also post a $5,000 bond.
Meantime, Ryan's office says one strip center owner, Alex C. Luk, was found guilty of violating a 2010 court order to stop renting to unlicensed bars and game rooms.
Luk will now be punished for contempt of court as part of Judge Shadwick's order.
Trial is set to begin for all of these people in November.
The Harris County Attorney's Office says this temporary injunction is a "significant step" in trying to shut down these businesses which are only fronts for prostitution.
The seven spas are believed to have been operating for at least the last three years, according to the attorney's office. It says "dozens" of women moved through the businesses who were victims of human trafficking. Additionally, the women were living at these locations not allowed to leave, authorities say.
Legitimate massage parlors are required to have licenses. Massage therapists are also licensed in the state of Texas.
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