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China Spa is seen Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, on Grandview Avenue in Cheyenne. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – The governmental hearing over whether a local massage parlor should permanently lose its business license over sexual assault allegations continued Thursday night after a three week hiatus.

The Cheyenne City Council heard testimony from a deputy city clerk, health department official, the accused man and the business owner. No decision about the business license was made, and the hearing is slated to continue at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The man accused of sexually assaulting two female patrons went by the name John Doe for the purpose of the hearing. Wyoming Tribune Eagle entered a stipulated agreement to not name the two alleged sexual assault victims or the alleged perpetrator in the case in order to gain access to the closed portion of the hearing. It is this newspaper’s policy not to name victims of sexual assault anyway.

The portion of the meeting that was closed Thursday night was the testimony from John Doe. It should be noted that there is no ongoing criminal case in this matter. John Doe was arrested earlier this year, but his charges were dropped. City officials said they are expecting new charges to be filed.

Earlier this year, Mayor Marian Orr issued a temporary emergency suspension of China Spa’s business license due to the allegations.

In the meantime, China Spa was issued a temporary business license, with stipulations, pending the results of the City Council hearing.

During his questioning, City Attorney Michael O’Donnell asked John Doe if he could read English, and John Doe said he couldn’t. O’Donnell said that raised an interesting question, because how could John Doe understand communication between himself and the city that was in English.

Over the course of the questioning, John Doe said he couldn’t understand several of O’Donnell’s questions and replied “I don’t understand the question.” There was a Mandarin translator present at the hearing.

O’Donnell also asked him if he was an employee at China Spa, and he replied, no, he was a contractor.

He also asked John Doe several questions about his massage training. He asked John Doe if he received training on how and why to provide a massage client with a robe. John Doe said he didn’t understand the question.

O’Donnell went on to ask him about the use of sheets in massages, and the sheets’ purpose. John Doe said every time he gives a massage, the clients have a sheet or towel to cover themselves.

“Sometimes it’s just one towel, isn’t it?” O’Donnell asked.

“Yes,” John Doe replied.

O’Donnell also asked John Doe if he was familiar with advertisements online that said China Spa provides “happy ending” massages and if he was aware that for $100 people could receive whatever they wish.

John Doe said he’s not aware of those advertisements and he’s not the boss, so he doesn’t have anything to do with China Spa’s advertising.

“When providing a massage, I understand you have a practice of rolling a towel into your massage recipient’s underwear, is that correct?” O’Donnell asked.

“Never,” John Doe replied.

“Why not?” O’Donnell said.

“We just roll it to the edge of the pants, not to the underwear,” John Doe responded.

O’Donnell asked John Doe if it would be entirely inappropriate if he did roll it into the underwear. He also asked John Doe whether it would be inappropriate if, during a massage, he ran his hands between a client’s butt cheeks.

John Doe said he never did that and agreed that it would be inappropriate.

“After this incident, it affected me very severely. In my mental and emotional condition, so I don’t want to continue with this (massages) anymore,” John Doe said.

After John Doe’s testimony, shop owner Mary Wang testified. She said she came to the United States about 10 years ago from China. She said she loved it so much here she became a U.S. citizen in January.

Don Miller, the attorney for China Spa, asked Wang what she would have done if Jane Doe 1 or Jane Doe 2 approached her with the allegations against John Doe. She replied that she would have investigated the alleged incident and stated that illegal conduct isn’t allowed in the shop.

Miller also brought a demonstrative exhibit of a diagram of China Spa, which showed the interior layout of the building. Wang was in a room working near John Doe on the day of the alleged assault in April.

She said if someone yelled or raised there voice, she would have heard the sound and went over to see what was going on. But she said she didn’t hear a sound that day.

O’Donnell asked Wang if she understood that she was responsible for her masseuses’ conduct as the shop owner. Wang said she didn’t have to be responsible because “they are all cheaters, they lie,” she said referring to the two women.

During City Council members’ questions, Wang broke into tears. She said China Spa is like her baby and it’s her only source of income. She said she has three more years on her lease and has to pay $3,000 a month to rent the space.

“Please, I did not do anything wrong,” she said. “You know that.”

Isabella Alves is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at ialves@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter @IsabellaAlves96.

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