Massage parlors still overlooked in fight against human trafficking, advocates say – news – – worcester, ma gas x strips walmart


In the absence of strong regulation and enforcement, advocates say, sex-trafficking networks have increasingly turned to massage and related fields as a front for illicit businesses that operate in plain sight out of storefronts, office buildings and homes, serving thousands of men who write with impunity in online forums about their experiences buying sex.

The arrest last month of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in a sting at a Florida spa has thrust spa-based human trafficking into the national spotlight while also shining a light on the public’s perception of it, evidenced by the dozens of selfies taken by gawkers outside the Florida spa where police say Kraft and dozens of other men regularly bought sex from trafficked women.

The women typically speak little English and are required to live in the z gas ensenada telefono spas under the watchful eye of traffickers who threaten to turn them over to police or immigration officials to keep them in line. Often they owe money to their traffickers for helping get them into the country, and know of no other way to pay except to do the work they’re told to do.

A pair of arrests in Norwell last gas bubbler month offer a window into the ways traffickers control women who work in illicit massage and bodyworks businesses. According to police reports, the women working at Platinum Body Works Spa on Washington Street were driven there by one of their alleged traffickers after answering online advertisements and taking a bus to Boston from New York and Pennsylvania. Police say they spoke little English, had no access to a car and lived in an illegal apartment in the spa, where they slept on massage beds when not working.

Local police departments have typically responded to complaints about these businesses by sending in an undercover officer to get a massage and arrest anyone who offers to perform a sex act for a fee. But advocates like Polaris say this approach only makes criminals of sex trafficking victims while allowing traffickers, and the electricity voltage in china networks they belong to, to escape prosecution. After a sting, police say the networks are quick to move women to a new location, sometimes within the same town, and open under a new name.

Instead, advocates are urging police departments to undertake investigations, like the one in Norwell, that are aimed at building a case against traffickers and their networks rather than the women. But advocates also say they acknowledge these types of investigations are expensive and time-consuming, more akin to taking down an organized criminal enterprise than shutting down a single shop selling an illegal product.

Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office has a dedicated human trafficking division, is among those who have embraced this approach, pursuing indictments against 10 people involved in running illicit massage and bodyworks businesses over the last two years. Bradley Myles, the CEO of Polaris, said Healey has been a national champion in combating spa-based sex trafficking.

But despite the efforts of Healey’s office and local grade 6 science electricity multiple choice test police the vast majority of illicit spas in Massachusetts continue to operate without facing prosecution. Myles said the popularity of online review sites, which include pictures, addresses and other specific information about illicit spas, shows that men who buy sex at spas still have little fear of consequences, either for themselves or the businesses they frequent. One reason, he said, is that there are still few stings aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex, usually through the use of fake parlors set up by police to catch would-be sex buyers.

With law enforcement resources limited, anti-trafficking advocates in Massachusetts have turned to regulation to help combat spa-based human trafficking. Healey and Montigny this legislative session filed a bill that would close a loophole in massage therapy law that for more than a decade has allowed any spa to escape regulation by claiming to perform bodyworks — a catch-all term for therapeutic spa services — instead of massage. Advocates for the bill say it would discourage illicit activity in bodyworks businesses by requiring strict licensure criteria gas tax oregon and allowing state regulatory officials to inspect them at any time.

“We know through our work that human traffickers use the bodyworks loophole to set up facilities that are nothing more than thinly veiled fronts for sexual exploitation, Healey’s office said in a statement. This legislation is critical in our efforts to shut down these illicit businesses, protect victims and combat the egregious crime of human trafficking.”

Montigny and others say the state is also not doing enough to enforce its existing massage therapy regulations, which specifically prohibit sexual contact between masseuses and clients and allow inspectors to enter licensed businesses at any time. Despite those requirements, many of the businesses listed on spa sex review websites, including about half of those in Quincy, are licensed massage therapy facilities that have been registered with the state.

Edward Palleschi, the newly appointed undersecretary of the state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, which includes the Division of Professional Licensure, declined to answer questions for this story. The office says its inspectors respond to any complaints about massage facilities and are trained to recognize signs of human trafficking and report anything suspicious to police.

Montigny gas leak los angeles, who is now pushing a comprehensive bill that takes aim at human trafficking on several fronts, said he gets frustrated thinking back on the 15 years he’s spent pushing anti-trafficking legislation that often gets little traction, despite major victories like the 2012 law that made human trafficking a crime in Massachusetts for the first time. And he said it angers him that it takes something like the charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to get people to pay attention to a criminal industry that experts say keeps thousands of women trapped through coercion and threats.