ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Liquor Control Commission approved delaying a massage business’s hearing on charges the business violated the city’s license code on Monday, but not before Mayor Ray Rogina admonished its attorney for not being prepared to go forward.
The charges stem from undercover St. Charles police officers’ compliance checks at Summer Spa Massage, 1550 E. Main St., in October and November, following complaints of suspected prostitution and massage violations.
The liquor commission regulates alcohol, tobacco and massage businesses. Summer Spa Massage faces fines, suspension or revocation of its license.
Attorney Kevin Wendorf, representing Hong Chen, the owner of Summer Spa Massage, said he had communication problems with his client, who apparently did not agree to his Dec. 16 plea of guilty on one of the two guilty pleas he filed among the six charges against the business.
Wendorf changed the previous plea of guilty with mitigating factors to not guilty on the citation of knowingly exposing or failing to conceal sexual or genital parts of another person or any other person on Oct. 25.
"I would like to go over that plea – especially on that plea – with my client and my interpreter and the girl who was in the room at that time. She said she might be able to come back from Oregon,” Wendorf said. “I really need to see all the police reports. I did not request them at the first hearing.”
Wendorf previously filed not guilty pleas in response to charges of providing a massage without a license on Oct. 16 and Oct. 25; and a charge of providing a massage without being a massage therapist also on Oct. 25; not having the licenses of massage therapists prominently displayed in the reception area on Nov .19; and not having a supervisor on duty at all times on Nov. 19.
Wendorf previously filed a plea of guilty but with mitigating factors in response to a Nov. 19 charge of not maintaining a register of all persons employed there, to be available for inspection by city representatives
Rogina said he would grant the request to come back on Feb. 18 – with the commission’s approval – but he was clearly put out regarding the delay.
“We work on a more strict schedule here than the courts do,” Rogina said.
“Yes,” Wendorf said.
“We have – in my mind – we have serious charges against the licensee,” Rogina said. “What bothers me is not to get to the facts and a decision in a timely manner such that we either move ahead with a licensee’s business in a good fashion or we don’t. One way or the other – get the facts on the table. These are serious allegations. And in my mind, at least I would like to have the air cleared as to what is the truth and have this forum here establish that.”
On Feb. 18, the mitigation hearing on the register ordinance would go first, Rogina said.
“After that, the case would be put on involving the six not guilty pleas, three of the six dealing with licensing,” Rogina said. “One of them dealing with the display of a license. And one having to deal with the allegation … of the customer and his appearance on the massage table.”