CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Police arrested a local massage parlor owner for allegedly filming clients without their knowledge.
The “Sister Body Works” massage parlor remains open despite its owner being accused of carrying out a disturbing violation of privacy.
NEWS10 ABC entered the Rt. 9 business to try to find the owner, 51-year-old ChengChang Dong, who was arrested Wednesday for unlawful surveillance. Three people inside the parlor declined to comment. This follows a shocking discovery by police as they carried out a search warrant last week.
“We had information that there were possibly cameras inside the rooms so we were looking for electronic devices,” said Investigator Albert Piraino.
What they found didn’t appear to be cameras at all, but common household items.
“They were hidden inside smoke detectors, which were placed in an unusual spot,” said Piraino.
Smoke detectors were allegedly placed in the upper corners of the private massage rooms and recording unsuspecting customers. Licensed massage therapist Steven Meddaugh says it breaks the most important aspect of a therapeutic relationship— trust.
“Encourage people to let loose, relax, and to really open up so that they’re in a better space when they leave,” said Meddaugh.
He suspects the cameras are a sign of other illegal activities.
“What is the rationale behind that? Perhaps there’s a, the owner of the place, is looking to protect their therapists, but in a well-respected establishment that shouldn’t be an issue,” said Meddaugh.
Piraino says the investigation continues and more charges against the owner are possible. The business had only opened a few days prior to his arrest, and no potential victims have come forward.
“If anybody has information, or may have patronized that establishment, we’d like to hear from them, and they can contact us at the Clifton Park barracks,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau says they don’t like to comment when a criminal action has not been proven, but they do have an investigator looking into the business.