A south Forsyth business has had its license revoked after several violations of the county’s massage and spa ordinance.
During a regular meeting on Thursday, Forsyth County Commissioners voted 5-0 to revoke the massage license for Wanli Inc., doing business as Massage Harmony Spa at 2130 Peachtree Parkway, and licensee Chunlan Wang.
On June 18, 2019, three violations were reported during an undercover operation by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office: violations for record-keeping, lighting and “sexual touching.”
“This started as an undercover operation as well as a compliance check,” Dep. 1st Class Andrew Diel with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. “We had an undercover deputy inside the establishment who had audio devices on him. He asked for a massage. He was told to go straight through the door to the massage room by the owner here, at which point the employee came in a short time after that and started performing the massage. About 40 or so minutes into the massage is when the touching began, the dimming of the lights.”
He said once the touching began, the deputy said a code word into the audio device and other members of FCSO entered the building.
County officials said in addition to the three violations being discussed at the meeting, there were also violations from 2018 still going through a state trial.
“Revocation might be something to consider because it sounds like more charges are coming,” said District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent before the final motion.
Though the violations include legal issues that went before the Forsyth County Magistrate Court, the hearing at the commission only dealt with licensing.
“The three citations were all subjects to pleas of guilt at the magistrate court,” said county attorney Ken Jarrard.
Peter Steckel, an attorney representing the business, said it was an employee, rather than the owner, who plead guilty to the touching and due to the plea would ultimately, “if not immediately,” be losing her state massage license.
Steckel said Wang was responsible for the recordkeeping issues, which he said was due to her taking clients’ information at the end of massage sessions rather than the beginning.
The attorney also said the employee had not been fired since “they knew each other for many years” and had instead “been limited to foot massages only since that time.”
“I think my concern is that from a business management standpoint, that that employee has still been retained, just simply moved to another role,” said Chairwoman Laura Semanson, “and that to me does not speak well to having truly taken these charges seriously.”
Speaking through a translator, Wang said the employee doing foot massages would not be out of the room and Wang could supervise her.