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Massage parlor shuttered

A massage parlor on Paradise Road that was investigated for prostitution lost its license Wednesday, but the stated reason wasn’t the hanky-panky that was reported there.

Sunflower Massage, at 2127 Paradise Road, had been before the Las Vegas City Council in March after three employees had been arrested, but not convicted, on prostitution-related charges. Council members decided just to suspend the business’ temporary license until the charges had gone before a judge, but the establishment had to close until the cases were resolved.

It didn’t.

Las Vegas police found Sunflower Massage open for business on May 21 and June 24, Detective Cynthia May said.

On the second visit by undercover officers, an employee “agreed to perform a sexual act,” she said.

In the meantime, however, two of the original three people arrested for prostitution had been cleared.

To answer that, Deputy City Attorney Bill Henry called on crime scene analyst Tracy Kruse, who inspected Sunflower Massage after the trio of arrests.

She used special lights that illuminate chemicals and biological fluids, and “the rooms glowed a lot,” Kruse said.

Subsequent tests indicated that the glowing globs were semen.

Attorney James Buchanan tried to sow doubt over when those deposits were made, noting that his client, Tony Tang, had only started operating the business in January.

“Can you in any way pin that on Sunflower Massage?” he demanded.

“I cannot put a date on it,” Kruse said.

Nevertheless, the business was open even though its license had been suspended, said Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese, whose ward includes that stretch of Paradise Road.

“We had a deal that there was going to be no business at this location,” Reese said. “They didn’t abide by the cease fire, so to speak, and they went in and resumed business.

“That negates any agreement we had.”

In a later interview, Reese said the city might look at revising its massage establishment ordinance, something that Clark County did recently.

“You have to protect those who are doing it honestly,” he said. “There are many, many good massage establishments, and I don’t want to lump them all together. But we need to punish those that are doing what was happening at this one here.”

Clark County commissioners approved an ordinance last month that limited the hours of new standalone massage businesses to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and said new establishments can’t be within 200 feet of a residential area or 1,000 feet of another massage business.

“I think the county is making good strides in what they’re doing to regulate their massage establishments, and I think the city’s going to strengthen ours too,” Reese said.

Contact reporter Alan Choate at achoate@reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

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