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Massage-parlors law leaves California cities feeling powerless over prostitution

A sign outside a massage parlor in San Francisco, Calif.
A sign outside a massage parlor in San Francisco, Calif.
Daniel Spiess via Flickr Creative Commons

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Sacramento lawmakers are under pressure from municipalities complaining that a state law allows  rampant growth of prostitution parlors masquerading as massage therapy. The 2008 law created a non-profit group - the California Massage Therapy Council - empowered to certify massage businesses.

Since then, individual cities have spent thousands of dollars policing illicit parlors. Earlier this month, South Pasadena's City Council voted to reject the state law and place a moratorium on new massage businesses, as reported by the Pasadena Star-News.

How can sex trafficking be prevented without stifling the growth of the massage-therapy industry?


Marina Khubesrian, South Pasadena Mayor

Ahmos Netanel, CEO, California Massage Therapy Council