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COMMUNITY NEWS / Covering Orange County's 33 Cities

Lake Forest

September 22, 2000|Alex Katz, (714) 966-5977

After more than a year of battles in the courts and at City Hall, a massage-parlor owner might finally get a business license.

Superior Court Judge Ronald B. Kline ruled last week that the city committed a "convoluted series of procedural missteps" in denying a license to Christine Vo, owner of the Body Centre on El Toro Road.

Vo first applied to the city for a license in June 1999, about a month before several masseuses there were arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution. One employee was later convicted after pleading guilty.

Vo sued the city about six months after the arrests for failing to respond to her request for a business license within 60 days as required by law.

The city later denied Vo a license on the grounds that at least one of her employees didn't have a massage permit when arrested. Vo then sued the city to get the license.

Lake Forest City Atty. Greg Diaz said the council will decide whether to appeal the decision, grant the license or take another course of action next month.

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