Police: health club was operating as house of prostitution

- Valley police have busted a suspected brothel in Phoenix. At least three women were arrested in connection with the business.

The brothel was operating under the guise of a health club. Police say three women worked at the Rose Garden Health Club near 7th St and Thomas. Police received a tip last year that employees in the club were engaging in sex for money.

61-year-old Hanna Choe, 58-year-old Young Joo Chi, and 19-year-old Grace Hyecha Yeom appeared in front of a judge after being accused of running a house of prostitution. According to police Choe owned and lived at the health club.

Chi helped managed the facility for 9 years and also owned it. Yeom was an employee.

According to court documents two customers told police sexual acts were performed on them in exchange for money. Two undercover detectives posed as customers and made prostitution deals with Yeom.

Carlos Toma, who works nearby, says the women were very friendly.

"They came everyday, they shopped regularly, they smoked cigarettes, just the basic things," said Carlos Toma.

Toma says he couldn't believe it when he was told the women were arrested.

"I was really surprised, I would have never expected those ladies to do what they actually did," he said.

Choe and Chi now face charges of an illegal control of an enterprise and for maintaining a house of prostitution.

Yeom is facing the same charges and four counts of prostitution.

At the business, no one answered the door and the sign saying "Open" was turned off. The women are due back in court on March 10. 

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