Prostitution arrests made after raid at Newburgh spa

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Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 2:33 PM CDT
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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - Two women are facing prostitution charges after a raid at a spa earlier this month in Newburgh.

The Sheriff says it happened at Beachfoot Spa, which is in a complex near the Highway 66 and 261 intersection.

He says 59-year-old Chumei Peng and 51-year-old Sumei Zhange are charged with prostitution and promoting prostitution.

Chumei Peng
Chumei Peng(Warrick Co. Sheriff's Office)
Sumei Zhange
Sumei Zhange(Warrick Co. Sheriff's Office)

Candi Payne is a hairstylist at Shear Madness Hair And Nails. She was there when deputies raided Beachfoot Spa next door.

“All of the sudden, like six sheriffs just came through the front door,” said Payne. “So many police cars, we were all kind of stunned, the shop was full.”

The salon employs ten women, who Payne says were all concerned and suspicious about what was happening next door.

“On our security cameras we saw multiple men coming all hours of the night, in and out,” said Payne. “Some of the outfits that were on there were not necessarily professional outfits or appropriate for anybody to see.”

Deputies say investigation sparked from complaints from businesses and customers reporting offers of illicit services. It’s not the spa’s first offense. Deputies also arrested employees here last November.

“A lot of our clients were turned off by it. They had a lot of safety concerns, lots of questions throughout the last couple years,” Payne said.

Deputies had an undercover agent proposition the workers in the spa, which led them to a search warrant.

Sheriff Mike Wilder says though people pay for the service, it’s often not a victimless crime.

“Some people probably think there’s no victim in this case, but what we have seen a lot of times, these two ladies that have been charged with prostitution probably are kind of a victim in this case,” said Payne. “They’re probably there being forced to be there, which is upsetting.”

Staff at Shear Madness Salon say they’re relieved Beachfoot Spa is closed.

“It’s a safety concern not only for the women working here, but if we have clientele that are concerned, that effects us negatively,” Payne said.

Both women arrested are now out on bond.

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