Graduate's illegal massage parlour raided by cops
A QUT marketing graduate has been fined $2500 after Prostitution Enforcement Taskforce officers raided his massage parlour and found naked men and women inside.
A court heard a police sting revealed male customers were seen throwing away used condoms in a bin outside a childcare centre after leaving the premises.
Jenn Huei Ting, of Algester, faced Holland Park Magistrates Court on one count of knowingly participating in the provision of prostitution and one count of possession of tainted property.
Melbourne student Ryeowon Kang, who was charged with the same two offences, also told the court that she flew up from Melbourne for 10 days to work at the massage parlour because she was in financial trouble.
The police prosecutor said the taskforce placed the massage parlour under surveillance early this year after receiving a complaint from a legal brothel.
She said officers confirmed a phone number for the business was traced back to Ting and a van seen in an Eight Mile Plains shopping centre carpark, where the parlour was located, was registered to Ting.
They observed men arriving at night, being admitted and then later throwing tissues into a bin outside a childcare centre as they left.
An inspection of the bin found used condoms and condom wrappers inside the tissues.
The front door of the premises was locked, with blinds drawn, so an officer posing as a client made a call to the business's number.
Upon entering they saw Ting and three rooms with locked doors, the court heard.
Officers then forced the doors and found one naked man and semi-naked women who were not wearing any underwear.
The prosecutor said told Taskforce police that he was unaware sexual activity was happening in the rooms and was shocked.
He pointed to a wall where a sign said sexual services were not provided.
The court also heard Ting received $60 per massage but the girls received $130 for performing oral sex on customers.
Ting's lawyer told the court on Thursday (July 16) that his client had run Sky Day Spa Massage, at Eight Mile Plains on Brisbane's southside, for about two years.
His lawyer said Ting earned only $60,000 to $70,000 a year from the massage parlour and had separated from his wife and had to help support twin 10-year-old daughters.
"This is the first offence of this kind (Ting has faced), His criminal history is pretty minor - unrelated matters from eight years ago,'' his lawyer said.
"He is not the principal offender, he was not engaged in prostitution and has not been charged with running a (prostitution) business.''
Magistrate Simon Young said Ting had a "great level of moral culpability for having his business used in this regard''.
"You were aware your business was being used for these (prostitution) purposes.
"It must be denounced and there is a significant element of general deterrence that applies.
You say you were not aware of the prostitution laws but... this was a deliberate and considered business operation.''
Mr Young took into account Ting's negligible criminal history, early guilty plea to both charges and the fact the charges related only to the two month surveillance period, not the two years he had run the business.
He fined Ting $2500, ordered he hand over several phones and an iPad used in connection with the business but did not record convictions.
Mr Young said it was unfortunate Ting had taken advantage of the financial trouble Ms Kang found herself in after giving a gambling-addicted friend money.
He said Kang, a business student from Korea, had good character references, showed genuine remorse and had pleaded guilty to both charges at an early stage.
She also had no criminal history and had made full admissions to police when taken to Dutton Park police station.
He fined her a total of $750 and recorded no convictions, partly as she might face deportation if she had a criminal record.
Originally published as QUT grad's illegal massage parlour raided by cops