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Massage parlor tied to prostitution case finds new home

Jan. 19, 2010

Greenfield — The owners of a West Allis massage parlor that closed amid prostitution allegations are opening a new spa 2 1/2 miles down the road in Greenfield.

The new facility, Asian Massage, has raised concerns with the owner of the Omega Shopping Plaza and some of its tenants. One business has arranged to move.

But a spokesman for the shopping center's owner, Paul Bouraxis, said Asian Massage has a proper lease and city permit and is allowed to operate.

"We obviously have to be careful how we deal with it. We're not the law," Agi Nikolau, who works for Bouraxis, said Tuesday.

"The bottom line is, the police in Greenfield are watching them like hawks. I don't think they're going to do anything wrong and not get caught immediately."

A Milwaukee couple, Michael and Tong Sherman, operated the West Allis facility, Beijing Foot & Body Massage at 2727 S. 108th St.

They have not been charged with any crimes, but after two of their employees were charged Nov. 30 with misdemeanor prostitution, the City of West Allis took steps to revoke Beijing's business license.

The Shermans said through an attorney that they didn't know that employees allegedly had offered sex acts for money, and they vowed to fight to stay open.

But they dropped their fight after obtaining an occupancy permit Dec. 10 to open Asian Massage, at 4643 S. 108th St. in Greenfield.

Asian Massage's application for the permit initially called the business Tai Massage with Michael Sherman as the owner, but those names later were crossed out.

The business name was changed to Asian Massage, and the owner was changed to John Sherman, who listed his address as an apartment in Greenfield.

Michael Sherman has identified John Sherman as his brother.

Nikolau, the spokesman for the shopping center owner, said Michael Sherman told him that both he and Tong Sherman would be working at Asian Massage.

Nikolau said he didn't know until after Asian Massage signed a lease about the problems with the West Allis massage parlor.

"He definitely has no support around here," Nikolau said of Michael Sherman and the shopping center.

Two tenants at the shopping center declined to comment.

The Shermans and their attorney, Mark Pecora of Milwaukee, could not be reached.

The cases against the two former Beijing employees charged with prostitution are pending in court.

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