Massage Parlor Opens Across From Former Mayor's Home
Friday, October 26, 2012 • 9:49am
PATERSON, NJ - There are hundreds of empty and available buildings in the City of Paterson. Many of them are in locations where some illegal activity might be overlooked. So why would someone open a massage parlor across the street from a former mayor’s home, especially when the former mayor is Thomas Rooney, known for his persistence in fighting the “anything goes in Paterson” mentality?
“Paterson has enough troubles already, we don’t need something like this,’’ said Thomas Rooney, who had served as 6th Ward councilman for many years and as mayor briefly. “I reported this as soon as I heard about it. I don’t want them to build up a customer base.’’
Rooney said he learned something was up at 1029 Main Street when his wife, Joan, looked out the window Monday night and noticed two new flood lights on the property. So Rooney did a little investigating. He learned from his neighbors that The New Sun Spa, a massage parlor that advertises online and in The Herald-News, had opened there. He decided to attend Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to alert officials.
In fact, Paterson police were already aware of the situation. Capt. Troy Oswald, head of the squad that handles vice crimes, said his officers had made three prostitution arrests at the massage parlor on Oct. 15 after an undercover officer was solicited for sex. The three women who were charged were all New York residents, Oswald said.
Rooney said the massage parlor has stayed in business, based on his observations. That may be okay, as long as all that’s being offered are massages. The New Sun Spa's website says a sauna and table shower are among the offerings. The website's gallery features only one photo, that of an Asian women in a small bikini and its advertisement on an massage parlor website boasts of its "gorgeous Asian staff.'' City officials said it’s not clear whether Paterson allows the operation of legal massage parlors.
Rooney said he hoped Oswald’s squad would conduct some more undercover operations at The New Sun Spa to make sure the prostitution hasn’t resumed. Oswald said that’s standard practice when a business gets busted for prostitution once.
“I hope they get on this and close the place down,’’ said Rooney, whose Grove Street home faces the building’s side and parking lot at the corner of Main Street. “I don’t want to live across from an illegal massage parlor.’’