Three local businesses shut down for multiple massage therapy vi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Three local businesses shut down for multiple massage therapy violations

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KENNEWICK, WA - Following an investigation by the Kennewick Police Department and the Washington State Department of Health, the business licenses for three local massage businesses were revoked yesterday and the businesses were required to close immediately. The businesses were permitting unlicensed massage therapy. The business locations that had their licensing revoked are: 

"99 Spa", 7903 W Grandridge Blvd., STE L

"Dragonfly Massage", 8903 W Gage Blvd., STE B

"Holiday Massage & Spa", 1915 N Steptoe St., STE B

A condition of holding a City of Kennewick business license endorsement is that the business comply with all laws and regulations and not allow activity that affects the public health. Massage practitioners are required to be license through the Washington State Department of Health. It is important that the customers check the licensing of the establishments they wish to do business with for their safety and welfare. Both City and State licensing are required to be posted in view of the public.

The Kennewick Police have received several complaints from citizens at these locations where employees were not following proper legal procedures and in some cases, causing additional injuries because employees were not properly trained and certified.

As a result of this 3 month investigation, yesterday morning detectives, representatives from the Department of Health, and Department of Homeland Security visited each of these three businesses, found violations, made one arrest and sent potential charges on several other employees and owners to the Benton County Prosecutor for review.

Department of Health is responsible for inspection and regulation of massage businesses in the State. Department of Homeland Security was present to assist with the translation and ensure that all employees were working of their own free will and to investigate potential "human trafficking". No employees asserted that they were being forced to work.

The first offense for providing massage therapy without a permit is a gross misdemeanor. The second offense is a Class C Felony. Jingi Liang had previously been cited for this violation and was booked into the Benton County Jail on the felony charge. She worked at the "99 Spa".