• 20Oct
  • San Gabriel Valley Tribune
  • 10/20/2004
  • Monday, October 11, 2004 - ROSEMEAD -- Law enforcement officials say Shui "Suzy' Tsang paid the price for prostitution.

    Found strangled in her bathtub June 21, Tsang, 51, was trapped in a cycle of prostitution all taking place inside her home in the 8100 block of Fern Avenue, detectives said.

    "We really don't know much about her,' said Robert Harris, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide detective. "We don't know who her friends were or anything.'

    What is known is that Tsang, a recent immigrant from China, set up a "massage parlor' in her home and offered customers somewhat more than a back rub, according to Harris.

    Harris has few leads in the case.

    City Hall may be cracking down on massage parlors as fronts for prostitution, but the problem lies in home-based operations scattered around Rosemead, places where a volatile mix of drugs, gangs and sex sometimes have deadly consequences.

    The City Council tonight will consider a moratorium on business licenses for massage parlors.

    "We just need to take a good, hard look at this from a regulation standpoint,' said Don Wagner, assistant city manager.

    While the moratorium would affect only massage parlors that want to set up legitimate business in a retail or office building, the problem of illegal home-based operations is ongoing, Wagner said.

    "We're always on it,' he said.

    Rosemead-based lawyer Daniel Deng said the city's municipal code is exceptionally weak when it comes to illegal massage parlors.

    "I don't think the city has ever updated the code,' Deng said. "The council needs to keep up with the changes that are happening in this city.'

    Most massage parlor-type prostitution occurs in homes, not businesses anyway, Deng said. But, even if someone set up a massage parlor in the city without a license, it would be difficult to prosecute the act as a crime, he added.

    "There is nothing in the code that says, 'If you do this, we're going to penalize you,'' Deng said. "Moratorium itself is not going to solve this problem.'

    Most cities have laws calling for a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine up to $1,000 for operating a massage parlor without a license while Rosemead does not have such a such code, Deng said.

    Slayings like Tsang's often go hand-in-hand with prostitution, Deng said.

    "Many prostitutes are being extorted,' Deng said.

    Harris said the suspect could be a client or a gang member demanding protection money.

    "We may very well have some (of Tsang's) customers or some other people who have information,' Harris said. Jason Kosareff can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717, or by e-mail at jason.kosareff@sgvn.com .

  • Back