Authorities took legal action to shut down a massage parlor in San Diego last week amid allegations of prostitution and lewd noises disrupting nearby Bible studies.
The city of San Diego announced on Jan. 30 it was shuttering Ocean Spa Massage Parlor in the Kearny Mesa community following an extensive and thorough investigation last year that spanned more than 125 hours, according to local CBS8.
The police said noises emanating from the spa disturbed a neighboring youth Bible study that used to gather at a nearby location in the busy, predominantly Asian neighborhood.
Undercover police reportedly encountered four examples of spa employees offering sex to them, and at least four people have been arrested. Law enforcement also unearthed almost 1,300 online sexual ads for the parlor spanning five years.
Other complaints, which reportedly began in 2018, included people having sex in cars and "traffic at all hours of the day, sexual sounds coming from the premises which are audible to nearby businesses, and female employees wearing sexually explicit clothing," according to The Daily Mail.
"The San Diego Police Department takes neighborhood complaints of this nature very seriously," San Diego Police Chief Nisleit said in a press release.
"Our Vice Unit’s thorough investigation into the operation at businesses just like Ocean Spa bring peace and civility back to San Diego neighborhoods. We are grateful for the collaboration with the city attorney to eliminate this type of criminal conduct in our communities," the chief added.
City Attorney Mara Elliott, whose office is seeking more than $100,000 in civil penalties, said in a press release that Ocean Spa's owners "have been masquerading as a legitimate business for far too long."
"Ocean Spa is a sex shop — not a massage parlor — and it has no place in our community or anywhere else. We look forward to holding these perpetrators accountable and to restoring peace in this complex," Elliot added.
A local San Diego business owner told Fox News Digital that while prostitution in the area has always been commonplace, it has seemingly worsened in the wake of S.B. 357, a law from Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in July 2022.
The law, which went into effect in January 2023, repealed the ban on "loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution."
The business owner told Fox, "the whole [prostitution] industry is emboldened because they know nothing will happen."
The entrepreneur noted the dangers of the situation given the surge in sex trafficking near the major border crossing.
"The prostitution has steadily increased," the owner added. "Pimps know they can flood the streets with more girls, and with the busiest border crossing here in San Diego, sex trafficking is out of control."
When he signed S.B. 357, Newsom claimed that it does not legalize prostitution, but "simply revokes provisions of the law that have led to disproportionate harassment of women and transgender adults."
"While I agree with the author's intent, and I am signing this legislation, we must be cautious about its implementation," Newsom added. "My administration will monitor crime and prosecution trends for any possible unintended consequences and will act to mitigate any such impacts."
Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to email@example.com