Two Upper East Side spas have found themselves as named defendants in separate complaints filed by the City. Both are at risk of eviction, permanent shutdown, and monetary civil penalties due to allegations of prostitution.
The spas accused of these activities are Sun Spa at 230 East 78th Street and Sunshine Body Work at 400 East 74th Street, Patch was first to report.
In June 2021, the City filed a motion to shut down Sun Spa based on reports filed with the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers program that individuals agreed to perform sexual acts in return for a fee on February 24, 2021 and March 3, 3021. On both dates, the City alleged that a female individual “agreed to perform an hour of massage therapy on an undercover officer in exchange for eighty dollars ($80.00). She then agreed to perform manual stimulation of his penis in exchange for an additional sixty dollars ($60.00).”
The court temporarily granted the City’s applications prohibiting Sun Spa and all those related to it from using and occupying the premises on East 78th Street for any purpose on July 1. This order, which effectively closed the business down, also prohibited the spa from removing any furniture or fixtures and specifically from engaging in acts constituting prostitution.
The court continued these orders on March 3, 2022 and calendared the matter for a hearing on March 17.
Sunshine Body Work has met a similar fate. In its February 22, 2022 filing, the City alleged that civilians complaining of prostitution made calls to 911 in September 2021. On three subsequent dates last year – October 14, October 20 and October 28 – a female individual agreed to have sexual intercourse with undercover officers for fees ranging from $160 to $200.
All business at Sunshine Body Work was ordered to be shut down temporarily on March 1. The removal of furniture and fixtures was prohibited, as were all acts of prostitution. The City and State will be in court on March 9 for the next round in this legal battle.
In both cases, basic Google searches for the businesses’ phone numbers led to websites which the City claims demonstrate additional evidence of illegal activity. The page allegedly connected Sun Spa advertised “HOT BODY 2 BODY” and “BEST XXX,” and contained “explicit photographs of females.” Sunshine Body Work’s site advertised with statements like “Body to body” and “Call me now baby honey girls waiting for u,” according to the complaint.
Neither the owners nor the employees of the now-shuttered establishments have been charged criminally. However, Sun Spa was also named as a respondent in a holdover petition filed by the building’s landlord on February 28. The spa is alleged to owe over $20,000 in rent arrears.