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Ventura massage parlors nabbed in prostitution sting; 3 arrested

Officers from the Ventura Police Department Street Crimes Unit conducted the sting operation at two locations: Gold Coast Spa at 1780 E. Main St., and New Trends at 1930 E. Main St. (Google maps)

October 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Three people were arrested on prostitution charges following an undercover sting operation at two local massage parlors, officials said.

Officers from the Ventura Police Department Street Crimes Unit conducted the sting operation at two locations: Gold Coast Spa at 1780 E. Main St., and New Trends at 1930 E. Main St.

Investigators said they received specific complaints that illicit sexual acts were performed for money at the establishments.

Police arrested massage therapists Rui Wang, 38, of Monterey Park and Qiuhua Xu, 47 of Ventura at the establishments after undercover officers were solicited for specific sex acts.

Each massage therapist was cited for soliciting money in exchange for sexual acts, which is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or imprisonment. Xu was also charged with contempt of court. A previous prostitution charge had prohibited her from working at a massage parlor.

The undercover operation was conducted from Oct. 8 through Oct. 17. Investigators worked off tips from citizens and intelligence gathered by officers.

During the sting operation, detectives discovered Xu was married to Steven Forbes whom as a registered sex offender was prohibited from owning a massage parlor. Records indicate he had attempted to obtain a business license for a massage establishment in the past.

Forbes' residence on the 200 block of Menlo Park was then investigated as part of the ongoing investigation. According to officials, evidence was discovered that proved Forbes was actively involved in managing and operating both businesses which violates the city ordinance because he is a sex registrant.

Authorities say the sting is not the end of the operation. Police said they will continue to monitor local massage establishments for illegal activities. Anyone who frequents massage locations for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual activity will be subject to arrest and prosecution.