GENEVA – Though a bright neon sign advertised that the business was open, its name, Asian Massage Spa, at 622 W. State St., Geneva, was nowhere to be seen.
However, Asian Massage Spa was posted in an online database of erotic massage businesses that offer sexual favors, declaring, “Where fantasy meets reality.”
The price was $60 for a one-hour session – the same as was in the business’s window in a hand-written sign.
The website also offers customer reviews.
The Kane County Chronicle is not naming the database, which also lists various other massage establishments in Kane, DuPage, McHenry and DeKalb counties, as well as in Chicago and suburbs that offer sexual favors.
A reporter arrived at the business Tuesday just after a man went inside.
The front porch sports a large golden laughing Buddha on one side and a spillway bowl waterfall on the other. The window of the inside door was covered with a poster of where your feet would be massaged.
And the inside door was locked.
After rapping a few times on the window, a very young Asian woman answered, only opening the door about six inches.
When a reporter asked to speak to a manager, she closed the door and an older Asian woman opened it a moment later.
She, too, would only open the door about six inches.
There was a language barrier in both conversations, but the second woman accepted a business card for the "big boss" and shut the door.
A look around the entire building showed that every window was covered, except for one in the basement where a light was on and a washer and dryer were visible.
A call to the number posted on the erotic massage database resulted in a talk with a man who only identified himself as Don, who would not give his last name.
As to why the business was listed in the erotic database, Don said, “Anybody can put anything on a website.”
Don denied that the business offered sexual services, and that the inside door was locked and also insisted that all the massage therapists employed there were licensed by the state of Illinois.
He said licenses were available for inspection – but when the reporter returned on Thursday, the neon open sign was off, the porch light was off, the front door was locked, the spillway waterfall was turned off and the basement laundry room light was off.
No one answered the door or the business phone number and no one returned a message left on voice mail.
Tom Anderson, of Colonial Ice Cream Inc., which owns the building at 622 W. State St., said he was unaware of the type of business that was renting there. Anderson said he thought the building had only been rented for about a month.
Human trafficking in massage parlors is the second most common type of trafficking reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at polarisproject.org and humantraffickinghotline.org/state/illinois
Human trafficking means the women who work in these establishments can't just leave and are being forced to work, according to the website.
More than 9,000 illicit massage businesses are fronts for selling commercial sex, according to the website.
“These businesses hide in plain sight, visible to those who know what to look for, and how those signs differentiate them from therapeutic massage venues,” according to the website.
Indicators that customers should be wary of include a lower price than average for a massage, covering windows or no windows at all, locked entrance doors, excessive security cameras and a steady flow of male clientele, according to the website.
Another way is to Google the name and see if it comes up on a sexually graphic online advertisement, according to the website.
Police Cmdr. Brian Maduzia confirmed in an email that “the Geneva Police Department has been alerted to potential illegal activity at this location.”