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Cops: Prostitution house busted in normally staid Ocean City

The investigation into activities at the L&G Spa on Ninth Street began during the height of the summer season and led to a raid last week, officials say.

L&G Spa is located in the storefront on the far left of this building.
L&G Spa is located in the storefront on the far left of this building.Read moreGoogle Maps (custom credit)

Law enforcement officials say they have busted a house of prostitution operating as a spa in the heart of Ocean City, a family-friendly Jersey Shore resort where you can’t buy a drink or bring your own bottle to a restaurant.

The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office said the investigation into the spa began in July — the height of the summer season — after Ocean City police received information that prostitution was taking place at L&G Spa.

During the probe, Ocean City and Cape May County detectives, along with investigators from the federal Department of Homeland Security, determined “customers could purchase sexual acts from females inside the business,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

On Thursday, armed with a search warrant, officials raided the spa at 508 E. Ninth St. and arrested Grace Li, 61, the statement said.

Li, of Ocean City, was charged with running a house of prostitution, a third-degree offense punishable by up to three to five years in prison. She was released on a summons pending court proceedings, the statement said.

Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland said more charges were possible.

Li did not immediately respond to a message left at the spa.

On its website, L&G says it a ”professional health center” employing “certified massage therapists” who specialize in “authentic Chinese pain relief therapy.”

Founded as a Methodist resort in 1879, Ocean City bills itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”

The sale of alcohol has been banned in Ocean City from its establishment. In 2012, voters defeated a referendum that would have allowed patrons to bring their own wine and beer to restaurants.