by: Tony Thomas Updated:
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - Residents in one northern suburb known for its country clubs and upscale shopping say too many massage parlors are popping up and the city needs to do something.
"Behind the blacked-out doors and windows at most of the Johns Creek massage parlors lies something very ugly," said resident Karla Armstrong.
There are at least seven massage businesses within a three-mile stretch of Medlock Bridge Road. Every business manager Channel 2 Action News spoke with insists nothing illegal goes on in their parlor.
"I just do this and regular massages,” said one manager.
"Sexual exploitation does not belong in Johns Creek, or anywhere," said resident Michele Sarkisian.
Johns Creek police said officers have made a dozen arrests at the businesses since 2011, including sex-related and immigration charges.
The police chief said such undercover investigations are time-consuming and often require federal agencies to handle larger issues than what local crimes cover.
Lucy Ye said she has owned the Serenity Massage business for several months. It is located in an upscale development, which also houses restaurants, a boutique and a fitness boot camp.
"We are very, very professional,” Ye told Channel Two's Tony Thomas. "But some customers come, they ask. All the masseuses reject, say, 'Don’t come here. If you like sex, you go other place, but not here.'"
Some residents aren't so sure.
Thomas asked Sarkisian what she wanted city leaders to do
"I want the city to get rid of the garbage!" she replied.
City Council members listened to the public input but took no action Monday night.