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Asian spa client names may be revealed

By Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Jan 09 2013 06:29:14 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 09 2013 08:01:01 PM CST
Spokane Spa Raid

KXLY

Officers at Asian Health Spa on Division Street remove a woman from the building.

SPOKANE, Wash -

Thursday may be the day hundreds of Spokane men have been dreading; names of clients of Asian spas raided this summer may be revealed in court.

A showdown is expected in court, as owners of two of those raided spas are going to court, demanding Airway Heights Police reveal the alleged evidence against them. That evidence could include names of clients who patronized those spas, where massages weren't offered, but sexual favors instead.

The City of Airway Heights has hired an attorney to represent its police department in the case. Richard Mount from the law firm Witherspoon-Kelley will guide the city through the seizure and forfeiture hearings.

Police and agents from the Washington Gambling Commission raided eight spas in July and executed search warrants at the spa owners' homes, seizing more than $100,000 in cash and property.

Attorneys for at least two of the spas are demanding police return those assets. Chin Sim Day, owner of Oriental Spa North on Francis, is represented by Carl Oreskovich, the attorney best-known for represented former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson. Oreskovich filed a motion, demanding Day's valuables be returned.

Oreskovich says because the state used a secret process to obtain search warrants and has offered no proof of evidence six months later, his client deserves to have her property returned. Day is expected in court Thursday to argue her case.

Yong Cha Kassim owned Joe Jean's Oriental Spa on North Division and is also suing Airway Heights Police for the return of her valuables, including her black Mercedes-Benz.

Judge James Triplet could demand prosecutors turn over the probable cause for the seizures and the sealed police reports, which could reveal the names of the men who frequented the spas.

Sources familiar with the investigation say the names were derived from credit card receipts detectives found when raiding the spas.

kxly4 has filed a public records request to obtain the names of the men, who were charged an entrance fee, a charge for services and sometimes, a generous tip.

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