UPDATE: Owner of illegal Louisville massage parlor pleads guilty
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville massage parlor was busted in May for illegal activity after police say a woman offered sex to an undercover cop.
There's no sign to indicate what type of business is in Suite A at 2221 Buechel Avenue but police say it was a prostitution hot spot -- disguised as a massage parlor and spray tanning salon.
Christina Mercer, 27, was arrested Thursday, May 7 after an undercover officer discovered she and other co-defendants were working at what police say was an illegal criminal enterprise.
The day police raided the shop, through the open blinds you could see a massage table, couches, hairspray and cigarettes.
As Mercer was being taken into custody, police say she "made threats to another person to not reveal the identity of the owner of the massage parlor."
Mercer was arrested and charged with complicity to promote prostitution, practicing massage therapy without a license and intimidating a participant in the legal process.
Since then, Mercer's intimidation charge has been dropped. She has another court date August 3 to argue her other charges be dropped. Mercer claims she only worked at Rejuvenated Beginnings for two weeks and didn't know anything illegal was going on.
“We saw several gentlemen coming in and out of this building which is unmarked, didn't have anything on it and it was always the same girls,” said a man who works nearby who only wanted to be identified as Mike.
Mike told WDRB when he saw police there, he wasn't surprised.
"After a while we were starting to wonder and then we kind of were thinking they are doing more than massages there,” he said.
There are five other businesses that share Rejuvenated Beginnings' address and some say that was becoming an issue.
"One time we had somebody that we were interviewing for our business and they went in there (accidentally) and he said he saw a bunch of girls on couches. We're more than happy they did something about it and they're going to be shut down and away from our business,” added Mike.
Property manager Bill Etscorn told WDRB he immediately started the eviction process and the business has since closed.
Etscorn says he had called police in the past after receiving complaints of illegal activity at the location.
He said his first hint was when he had to call the plumber because of a clogged sewer line and they told him the clog was due to people flushing condoms down the toilets.
Since our first report in May, WDRB has learned the owner of Rejuvenated Beginnings, 29-year-old Holly Thomas, pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution and practicing massage therapy without a license.
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