Grayslake cites prostitution in revoking Kyoto Spa and Massage's business license

Grayslake has revoked the business license of Kyoto Spa and Massage on Route 83, where police say two women were charged with prostitution after an undercover operation.

Village board trustees recently voted 4-0 in favor of revoking Kyoto Spa's license and leveling a $4,000 fine for “eight separate and distinct violations.” Kyoto Spa also was ordered to pay court reporter and transcription costs from a hearing on the matter, according to a finding and recommendation issued May 21 by Village Manager Mike Ellis.

Kyoto Spa attorney David Feldman told the village board he continues to back an argument made during a massage business license hearing last month that the business' owners didn't know of any allegedly illicit activities occurring there. He said the license revocation was too drastic a measure.

“A warning, a fine or a short suspension would be an appropriate remedy,” Feldman said. “But revocation, to take away their investment and their livelihood that they had in this business, would be inappropriate.”

Kyoto Spa was hit with several accusations by the village as part of the license hearing, including prostitution, failure to display a massage license in a conspicuous place within the establishment and performance by a practitioner, therapist, employee or operator of an act that would require touching of a patron's genital area.

Documents obtained through a Daily Herald Freedom of Information Act request say Grayslake police received “several complaints that sexual favors for money were being offered to clients of the Kyoto Spa during the provision of massage services.” The complaints were recorded before police initiated the undercover investigation at the business March 29.

Hye Suk Kim and Myong S. Lewis, whose ages and hometowns were not available, were charged with prostitution as a result of the police probe, according to Lake County circuit court records.

A Grayslake police officer and a detective were sent into Kyoto Spa to work the operation, village documents say. Each received $200 to spend, with directions to seek a massage and learn whether they'd be solicited for a sexual act in exchange for money.

One was charged $70 and the other paid $60 for the same sexual act, testimony showed. Both cops stopped the women from touching them at a certain point in accordance with the investigation, according to the hearing transcript.

Kyoto Spa attorneys had contended at the massage business license hearing there was no evidence Kim or Lewis were employed there. Documents show Ellis, who served as hearing officer, disagreed with the lawyers' position.

  A “closed” sign hangs in the window of the Kyoto Spa and Massage on Route 83 in Grayslake on Monday afternoon. Police say two women have been charged with prostitution at the spa. Paul Valade/
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