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Brothel sued by SF evicted from building on edge of Chinatown

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The building that previously housed the Queens Health Center, which was purported to be a brothel, is now empty. (Courtesy City Attorney’s Office)

A brothel on the edge of Chinatown that was recently sued by the City Attorney’s Office in an attempt to finally close the long-standing illegal business has been evicted from its Kearny Street location.

The landlord, who rented out the second story of the building to Queens Health Center owner Jie Qin Zhou, who is also being sued by The City, showed attorneys representing the City Attorney’s Office the empty space March 8.

While the lawsuit is ongoing, the section asking a judge for an injunction to force the closure of the operation has been dropped due to the eviction, said City Attorney’s Office spokesperson Andrea Guzman.

“Our main goal in this case was to shut down an illegal business that had been exploiting women and violating the law for years,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement. “We were able to successfully do that in short order. This in an operation that flagrantly defied the law, and we’re pleased we were able to shut their doors.”

The landlord, Frank B. Iavarone, used the lawsuit as a cause for eviction, which Herrera is calling a victory in their effort to finally stop the illegal prostitution.

For more than six years, The City had failed to shut down what they call a scofflaw madame’s brothel at the edge of Chinatown before finally using a new tactic: a civil injunction.

Herrera filed a civil action Feb. 18, which sought a temporary injunction against the brothel, its owner and the owner of the building.

City officials believed the civil action would result in the business’ closure since it goes after the pocketbooks of the brothel and the landlord.

Like other massage parlours closed by the Department of Public Health, Queens and its ilk have simply reopened with new names or in new locations.

The lawsuit alleges city code violations as well as a violation of a state law passed to stamp out prostitution, the Red Light Abatement Law.

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