Neighbors angry massage parlor reopen after prostitution arrests

Neighbors angry massage parlor reopen after prostitution arrests

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The Hollywood Spa sign has been taken down and replaced with a smaller one in the window that reads "ing spa." However, neighbors say the activity is the same. The Hollywood Spa sign has been taken down and replaced with a smaller one in the window that reads "ing spa." However, neighbors say the activity is the same.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- After an undercover sting and two arrests for prostitution, a massage parlor on Murdock Drive in West Knox County is back open for business. 

The Knox County Sheriff's Office raided The Hollywood Spa on July 9. An undercover officer says an employee offered him a sexual act in return for more money during his massage.

That employee, Chin Kim, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of simple prostitution and was given six months of unsupervised probation.

The owner of the spa, Myung Kim, was charged with the felony of promoting prostitution. She was in court Tuesday morning for her scheduled trial, but it was postponed until December.

The Hollywood Spa sign has been taken down and replaced with a smaller one in the window that reads "ing spa." However, neighbors say the activity is the same. 

"I don't want them to have any business, period. They shouldn't be allowed to be open," says Cheryl Allmon, unofficial spokesperson for a group of neighbors who feel the same way.

Allmon's was one of the complaints that led to the bust in July.

"Really, the next day I thought, the good guys have finally won one. Knox County is going to stand up and they're going to really protect us," Allmon says.

But much to her dismay, the open sign soon lit up again and the customers were back. "How can that happen? How can that happen and who's going to protect us?" she asks.

When 6 News took those complaints to the spa, the only person inside was an employee who says she was just hired recently.

She admitted she doesn't feel comfortable working in a place that was busted for prostitution, but says she needs the job and doesn't do anything illegal.

That assurance is of little comfort to those who live, work and take their kids to school nearby.

"We have to have our community leaders, our sheriff's office, somebody has got to jump in and say you know, enough is enough. There's too much risk here. We're going to protect the children. We're going to protect the community, the people who vote for us. Let's do the right thing and clean up this area," Allmon says.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office says it's working with the building's owner through the court system, trying to shut down the spa for good.

The same group of West Knox County neighbors is also fighting the Adult Video Superstore near the spa on Lovell Road.    

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