California's Red Light Abatement Law, a classic early 1900s vice law, has been used as recently as 2015 to shut down illegal gambling dens, but it's been a long time since the City of San Francisco has filed a civil suit under violation of that law to shutter a place of alleged prostitution. Yet tactics old and new are needed to put a halt to one pernicious alleged brothel, according to the office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

According to the complaint filed by Herrera's office, Queen's Health Center at 325 Kearny Street "is a massage parlor brothel operated by the defendants under the guise of a legitimate massage establishment." There, since April 2010 and despite numerous health code violations, the defendants have regularly solicited prostitution online and in advertisements from to SF Weekly, Herrera contends. Numerous undercover officers have interviewed clients who claimed they sought sex at the establishment and some officers further claim that they were solicited for sex themselves, according to the complaint.

“Massage parlors operating as fronts for prostitution are a blight on our neighborhoods and put women and the community at risk,” Herrera said according to a press release. “Queen's Health Center is one of the worst offenders. Over the years, city agencies have found multiple violations, issued fines and even suspended its business permit. But the business owner, Jie Qin Zhou, has repeatedly come up with new ways to hide and flout the law. No more. "

According to the Examiner's coverage, from 2008 to 2013 the Department of Public Health revoked 73 permits against similar operations — massage parlors operating as brothels — but 45 of them reopened. So to target the alleged repeat offender, Herrera's suit takes aim at both the business owner, Jie Qin Zhou, and the Kearny Street building’s owner, Frank B. Iavarone.

This tactic, according to City Attorney Herrera, "puts property owners on notice that they have a responsibility to ensure their commercial tenants are not exploiting women.... I want to be clear: This lawsuit takes on the business owner and the property owner—the people who profit off the exploitation of women.

Herrera's motion calls for a civil injunction: The business would have to vacate the space for a year, sell its fixtures and movable property at an auction and give the money to the city to fund enforcement, and levy penalties against the property owner and the business owner. Those would be up to $25,000 for allowing prostitution to occur on the premises, at least $200 for each day in violation of the Planning Code, and finally, $2,500 for each unlawful business act.

That's a lot more than the $320 a San Francisco police officer was quoted for "group sex" with masseuses when he entered the premises undercover. According to the complaint, investigators found masseuses wearing lingerie at Queen's on several occasions, found more lingerie and sex paraphernalia on site, and even discovered one masseuse naked in a massage room with her client. Yelp reviews allude variously to the legal and allegedly illegal activities at Queen's Health Center, with one Yelper in 2012 claiming that a "code word" was "boom boom."

“Women who work in massage parlors must be protected against coercion and exploitation,” San Francisco Director of Health Barbara Garcia said according to the release regarding the City Attorney's motion for a civil injunction. “I'm proud of our health inspectors and their dedication to protect these workers, in partnership with law enforcement.”

Related: East Bay Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Sex Trafficking After Luring Women To Fake Fitness/Modeling Agency