Massage Parlor Crackdown in Lafayette

Before the rubdown, a shakedown.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    What, in fact, goes on in massage parlors? Licensing, if Lafayette has its way.

    In order to give a massage, first heed the message: Get licensed, or get lost.

    City leaders in Lafayette are reacting to complaints of illicit activity ongoing at city massage parlors with a hard-line stance, according to the Contra Costa Times. All massage purveyors will be required to obtain a state license, submit to a police inspection at any time, and undergo a series of personal investigations, including passport verification and criminal background checks, the newspaper reported.

    Those wishing to apply hands to customers will be required to earn a license from the California Massage Therapy Council, which requires "hundreds of hours of training," the newspaper reported.

    The crackdown on massage parlors, which are currently designated "personal services" and allowed in any city retail area in the East Bay burg, comes two months after complaints to leaders about "suspicious goings-on" at existing rubdown houses, the newspaper reported. One resident found an online review describing "illegal activity" -- sexual conduct will also be "explicitly prohibited" under the new rules -- and others told of a minor propositioned for sex.

    One massage parlor owner says he does an honest business -- or did until the negative publicity forced him to shut down, the newspaper reported.

    The rules could be adopted as soon as May 14.