By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The owner of a Quincy massage parlor said this week that he didn't know why one of his employees was arrested Friday and accused of prostitution.
"I don't know what happened," said Leo Chen, owner of Melody Massage, 1828 Broadway. "That doesn't happen here."
One of Chen's workers, Ying Qin, 35, was arrested after a joint investigation by the Quincy Police Department and the West Central Illinois Task Force. Qin was arrested as an ongoing investigation that began after police received complaints about suspicious activities at the business.
Chen, 43, said Qin previously lived at the business, but she no longer works there and has moved out of town. Qin was released by the Quincy Police Department after posting a $1,500 bond. She is scheduled to make her first appearance in Adams County Circuit Court on June 23.
Chen said Qin told him she was innocent of the charges against her.
Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard said on Monday that it is rare for his office to charge anyone with prostitution. Prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable to up to 364 days in the Adams County Jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Curt Kelty, a deputy chief with the Quincy Police Department, said the city does not require a massage parlor or its workers be licensed. City Clerk Jenny Hayden said state law does not mandate licenses for massage parlors.
Melody Massage has been open since February. The store is snuggled between a pizza shop and two sandwich shops in a strip mall at 18th and Broadway, one of Quincy's busiest intersections. A sheet covers the front door of the business, which is open seven days a week. The store was open this week, and Chen said he has no plans to close.
Inside the store, customers are greeted with the smell of incense. Items from Chen's native China adorn the walls. The front of the store has two chairs for foot massages. Full body massages are given in three individual rooms to the left of the receiving area.
Chen said he has been advised by lawyers to stop giving full body massages on a temporary basis and to give only foot massages.
Chen said he is one of two workers at the business. He said he moved from Chicago earlier this year to start the business.