Asian massage parlor suing city of Farmington

Posted at: 06/26/2013 9:54 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An investigation into possible prostitution has turned into a lawsuit.

The owner of Asian Massage Parlor in Farmington, Wei Lu, is suing the San Juan County Sheriff and the Special Enforcement Team.

She says they targeted her massage parlor because of a stereotype.

Wei Lu's attorney, Christian Hatfield, told us today that his client's business, "Asian Massage" was targeted for racial reasons.

"The only difference between Wei Lu's business and those businesses as far as I can tell is that her business has Asian in the name and she's an Asian American," said Hatfield. 

But the sheriff's department says that's not true. They said they looked into several massage parlors last year.

"We decided to look at some of the massage parlors in town the only one we saw in that type of activity was Asian Massage," said Sergeant Allan Jamison.

"According to police documents, the sheriff's department sent undercover deputies into Asian Massage several times, between august and October to look for signs of prostitution. Deputies reported on certain visits, employees offered sexual favors for tips.

On October 30, the sheriff's department searched Asian massage and arrested Wei Lu.

In the end she faced charges related to her business license, but they were dropped

Hatfield says Wei Lu and her employees never offered sexual favors.

"They completely misunderstood her fairly think accent and they  asked her over and over again whether she worked for tips and happy endings and she said 'I want to keep the customers happy, I work for people,'” said Hatfield. 

As of now Wei Lu is still in business, but she says it's suffering because of the investigation.

Wei Lu is suing for damages she says she lost because of the raid on her business.