The Alabama Board of Massage Therapy has suspended the license of a Huntsville parlor it says was providing sexual services.
Mei Massage, 6945 University Drive, Huntsville, was closed Thursday for “operating a sexually oriented business in a manner that endangers the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the state of Alabama,” a three-page notice on the front door reads.
Mei Massage is scheduled to be closed until a hearing on Jan. 10 in Montgomery.
Bing Ji is listed as the owner of the business. The notice says Ji has owned Mei Massage since June 2018, and was fined in the past for “employing unlicensed individuals to provide massage therapy.”
The notice states that the license suspension comes after multiple inspections this year, including as recently as Nov. 13.
Keith Warran, executive director of the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy, said an undercover investigator was touched in a sexual manner during a massage on Nov. 13. Also, the employee said to have performed the act was not licensed by the board, Warren said.
Warren said the board entered into a consent agreement with Mei Massage in July 2019 after a series of violations and fines. This consent agreement involved Bing paying a $5,000 fine and put on one year of probation.
Warren said Thursday’s closure of Mei Massage is because it is violating the consent agreement by “employing unlicensed therapists, engaging in unprofessional conduct, aiding and abetting in the violation of the board’s statute, and engaging clients in sexual activity.”
Additionally, Warren said an April 2019 study from the University of Alabama’s Computer Forensics Research Laboratory found “sexual services being offered on a regular basis at Mei Massage” and advertisements for this activity online, including Google and Facebook.
Warran said the undercover operation at Mei Massage was approved in August.
More timeline details:
June 2018: Mei Massage issued a new license establishment number with new owner Bing Ji
August 2018: Ji paid a fine of $2,500
January 2019: Complaint initiated for unlicensed individuals providing massage therapy
February 2019: Another inspection done
March 2019: Another inspection
April 19, 2019: Board received a report that business was a sexually oriented business that offered customers sexual stimulation and sexual gratification
June 24, 2019: Complaint alleges that employees of Mei Massage had an ad on a website known for promoting prostitution
July 12, 2019: $5,000 fine and placed on probation for a year
Aug. 22, 2019: Undercover operation approved by Keith Warren, executive director of board, to determine violation
Oct. 23, 2019: Board received additional information that indicated business was sexually oriented business
Nov. 13, 2019: Undercover operation at Mei Massage. Individual undercover stated he was touched and fondled in a sexual manner. Inspection also conducted.
Nov. 21, 2019: License suspension