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Shouldn't Spas Get Equal Application of The Law?
David 'Kip' Koontz

March 25, 2002

Herzonner has launched the "Frederick Crusades" against moral corruption! She has set forth to abolish bawdy houses, spas, massage parlors, whatever it is you want to call them, (they are indeed houses of ill-repute), from our city.

It is shocking to find out that many people purport they do not know that these establishments exist and are more shocked to find out what goes on inside them. While it isn't fit to publish all that goes on, the transaction goes something like this.

One goes to the spa and is taken for a massage. The patron receives touches that one could say were massage like in nature as one is given a menu that explains what else the "masseuse" would be willing to do, if you asked. They explain that they will perform those acts for a "tip" and that since it is a "tip" and the act is consensual in nature that it is supposedly legal.

Some claim that since nothing more than a bit of "innocent handling may" happen during the massage process, it is okay.

One only needs to look at a web site that was recently pointed out (which will not be publicized in this column) that lists these types of establishments throughout the world. The site goes on to point out what the patrons may expect if they patronize Spa A instead of Spa B.

Several Frederick establishments are listed.

A look at this site clearly sets forth that more than some "innocent handling" is to be had if you are willing to "tip" for it.

A recent count showed that five spas existed on or right off the Golden Mile, while at least one exists elsewhere in the city. Another three are known to exist in the county.

Not all that many months ago, Herzonner found herself shocked at the discussion of these establishments and what goes on there.

While on Pressing Issues, Adelphia Cable 10's local talk show, the topic of the "Black Book" led to a discussion of prostitution in Frederick. The issue of the spas came up in the context of the question, "Why aren't these establishments raided and the employees and patrons prosecuted for their illegal acts as are those who are arrested practicing their trade on Market Street?"

Part of the discussion centered on the aspect that the streetwalkers and their customers are doing it flagrantly and therefore deserve to be arrested.

Also discussed was the aspect that it may be a matter of economics. Some of the acts you may get from a street gal for $25.00 will go for a $100.00 tip from a spa gal.

The point being that maybe, just maybe, there is a much better clientele inside the spas who, out of privilege, should be given the benefit of having the police look the other way.

Also, brought up on the program was the idea that the State's Attorney's (hereafter, SA) office won't prosecute those arrested inside the spas anyway, so why should police take the time to arrest?

Take for instance, the most recent case taken to the SA's office after Evergreen Spa was raided. All charges were dropped for "lack of evidence."

Further, the entire matter of the bawdy house that led to the "Black Book" debacle was kicked from this SA's office.

Some years ago, a police officer, after having gone into Alpine Spa, at the time Frederick's only spa, found that more was expected to happen than a massage.

He took the matter to then Delegate Anita Stup, who wanted to craft legislation that would prevent these establishments from operating. This SA said he would not support the legislation. Without the SA's support, Mrs. Stup felt the legislation would not pass and the matter was dropped.

Also discussed on Cable 10 that night was the idea that the SA chooses to turn a blind eye to the matter altogether. It has been said that a leak inside the SA's office attributed the office's policy to being a lassie-se-f aire one in regards to the activity at the spas.

The leaker is alleged to have claimed that the SA maintains that policy because it is the belief of the office that instances of spousal abuse have dropped as men have the opportunity to gain release from their pressures at the spas that they are not getting at home.

Interesting, huh?

Whatever the reason things haven't happened in the past, there has been a vow by Herzonner that things will happen in the future to shut these places down. Or at least change their business practices.

Maybe they will just become legitimate spas. Doubt that.

Stopping the behavior in these establishments that "cross the line" is the right thing to do. It affords equal application of the law.

A neighbor to one of the spas has said that he has received gifts from the woman who owns the spa. He doesn't know for sure why he gets them but said the gifts have been everything from cakes and cookies to offers of the extravagant.

Wonder if she will offer gifts to Herzonner? Would she accept them?

It is all about the equal application of the law, isn't it?


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