A fifth St. Charles massage business will close after a ruling by Mayor Ray Rogina that evidence uncovered by a prostitution sting warrants revocation of its business license.
Owners of the establishment are fighting to stay open, taking the issue to court.
The final ruling is a year in the making. It stems from a prostitution arrest at Shangri-La Spa & Sauna in January 2017. During that arrest and later interviews, police uncovered seven violations of city code. Five violations pertained to sexual acts. Two violations pertained to insufficient supervision.
Rogina and the city's liquor commission listened to an appeal for leniency by Shangri-La's ownership in November. As mayor, Rogina has the discretion to revoke a business license or issue a lesser punishment, such as a fine. Rogina's ruling Thursday said there is no reason to treat Shangri-La's violations any different from similar violations at other massage establishments.
"The absence of prior violations or evidence that a licensee knew of its employee's prohibited conduct does not render a decision to revoke a massage establishment license an abuse of discretion," the ruling said.
Besides losing its license to operate, the owners of the spa must repay the city $2,990.20 in court costs.