Woman planning spa in Westerly promoted prostitution

An Uncasville woman who lost her massage therapist license in Connecticut after she failed to disclose a New York conviction for promoting prostitution at a spa in that state has applied to open a spa and massage parlor in Westerly.

Nan Suk Clark, also known as "Candy," most recently owned the Showgun Spa in Uncasville and the Ginseng Spa in Salem. People who answered the phones at both establishments said Clark is not affiliated with them.

Clark is proposing to open the Crystal Spa at 62 Franklin St. in Westerly, but will require a special use permit from the Zoning Board to do so.

Last August, Clark was notified by the Connecticut Department of Health that a hearing would be held in October to revoke her massage therapist license after she failed to disclose in her license renewal application that she was arrested and convicted of promoting prostitution in 2006 in New York. According to state Department of Health records, she also failed to disclose that she had to surrender her New York massage therapist license in March 2008 as a result of the conviction.

According to court records, Clark was the manager of the Lily Relaxation Spa in Elmsford, N.Y. She received profits from three women who worked as prostitutes at the spa.

The Connecticut hearing was finally held in February, and the decision to revoke the license was issued on April 23. Clark had had her Connecticut license since 2001.

Clark's Westerly application was briefly presented to the Zoning Board of Review Wednesday for a pre-application review. It was then placed without comment on the regular Zoning Board meeting agenda scheduled for Aug. 6, said Jason Parker, the zoning official.

Clark will have to notify adjacent neighbors of the property of her request seeking a special use permit to operate the Crystal Spa in the area. Neither Clark nor the attorney representing her in the application, Steven Surdut, could be reached for comment.

According the special use permit application, a "spa/massage use" is not specifically defined in the town's standard district use tables. Clark is asking the town to classify the business as "personal services not herein specified."

Clark also submitted a letter from John C. D'Amato of D'Amato Investments of Stonington and Milford that says she has entered an agreement to lease the premises for the massage parlor. D'Amato could not be reached for comment.

The proposed spa is described as 4,800 square feet, with six private rooms, two showers and one dry sauna.

Clark's Showgun Spa was in the Gristmill Plaza on Route 32. It is now called the Healing Day Spa, but a sign for the former spa still hangs in a window.

"The Department has asked for revocation of Respondent's M.T. (massage therapist) license based on respondent's prior misconduct in New York; and, ostensibly, to prevent the promotion of prostitution where massage therapy is performed," the state Department of Health's memorandum of decision says. "While there is sufficient in the record concerning respondent's prior misconduct in New York and lack of credibility, there is no evidence in the record that respondent is promoting prostitution in her Connecticut spa."

Local police also said they never received any complaints of misconduct against the spa. However, a routine Internet search shows the spa featured on several adult websites.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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