Joliet has changed its permit procedures for massage parlors after one applicant was issued a special use permit before the city learned of a previous prostitution-related arrest.
The city now requires a background check before the permit is issued instead of afterward as had been the past procedure.
The special use permit that had been issued for Y Massage at an Essington Road location has been revoked, interim City Manager Martin Shanahan told the city council last week.
“The applicant failed the background check,” Shanahan said.
The special use permit for Y Massage was reviewed by staff and approved by both the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Joliet City Council before the city did a background check required before a business license could be issued.
Plainfield resident Yan Jiang has said she was the victim of mistaken identity when she was arrested after an investigation into a Fox Lake massage parlor.
Lake County Sheriff’s police in 2015 said Jiang was arrested for operating an illegal massage parlor after offering to perform a sexual act for money. She was arrested two days after the incident.
Robert Pisut, a Joliet resident and acquaintance of Jiang, said he was with Jiang most of the day of the Fox Lake incident. They went to Chinatown in Chicago for lunch before returning to Joliet, he said.
Pisut produced a receipt that he said showed Jiang was at a Joliet supermarket shortly before 3 p.m. June 29, 2015. A Fox Lake police report says the incident at the massage parlor happened at 4 p.m. that day.
Pisut said he testified on Jiang’s behalf in court before she was found guilty.
“We explained everything, and they just didn’t believe us,” he said.
Pisut also spoke on Jiang’s behalf before the Zoning Board of Appeals when that panel recommended approving the special use permit.
Jiang can appeal the decision to refuse her a business license.
Shanahan said Friday that he was not aware of an appeal being filed.