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courts Massage parlour owner who provided 'happy endings' despite garda warnings receives suspended sentence

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Man getting massage. Stock image

Man getting massage. Stock image

Man getting massage. Stock image

A massage parlour owner who continued to provide “happy endings” to customers despite three warnings from gardaí has received a suspended prison sentence.

Qiuping Chen (35) of Dorset Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to managing a brothel at 'Jasmine Massage Parlour' on Dorset Street from January 2016 to July 2017.

Sentencing her on Tuesday morning, Judge Karen O'Connor said that the evidence before the court was that the sexual activity following massages was “standard procedure” in China.

The court heard Chen didn't fully understand that “happy endings” were illegal here.

Judge O'Connor said she accepted these “cultural differences” but said gardaí had given Chen repeated warnings.

At a hearing earlier this month Garda Pauline Treanor told the court that in January 2016, another garda went to the massage parlour on Dorset Street, and posed as a client.

He requested a massage and was offered a “happy ending” which the court heard is “a sex act resulting in climax”.

The garda identified himself and Chen identified herself as the “owner and boss". Gardaí explained to her that “happy endings were illegal in Ireland” and cautioned her “to cease any future sexual acts during massages”, including any touching of a customer's penis.

When gardai called to the premises again in October 2016, Chen admitted that “happy endings” were still being carried out, the court head. Gardaí then warned her that she may face criminal proceedings unless it ceased.

Chen told gardaí it would stop immediately but in April 2017 gardaí returned and she told them that the practices were still going on.

In July 2017, gardaí returned with a warrant to search the flat above the massage parlour. During the search they found seven vibrators, four bottles of “lube” and a ledger with customers names and details of transactions and “certain requests”.

Gardaí also retrieved CCTV footage, including footage of Chen and another person in a shower. Chen told them there was an innocent explanation for these images.

She denied responsibility for any sex acts carried out during massages and she told gardaí that she employed people to give massages.

Judge O'Connor that the most significant consideration for the court was there was no evidence of any exploitation or human trafficking in the case.

She noted that Chen has turned over “a new leaf” since these offences and is now working as a hairdresser. She said Chen is a hard working woman with a young family and suspended the prison term of two years.

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