SOURCE: California Massage Therapy Council

California Massage Therapy Council

January 09, 2014 11:36 ET

Legislation Expanding Local Government Control Over Massage Establishments Proposed by California Massage Therapy Council

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 9, 2014) - As California communities continue to struggle with the issue of illegitimate massage establishments, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) Board of Directors voted Tuesday to propose legislation in 2014 that will provide local governments with the explicit authority to address establishments that use massage as a subterfuge for prostitution.

"CAMTC supports the authority of cities and counties to maintain local control of illegal massage establishments. However, there are still some cities and counties that are unclear about their role and our joint goal of eliminating illegitimate massage institutions," said CAMTC CEO Ahmos Netanel. "Since the beginning, CAMTC has endeavored to work cooperatively with local government, and we want to remove any ambiguity regarding our intentions."

The proposed legislation would allow a city or county to impose the following types of regulations in the event a massage provider, including a CAMTC certificate holder, is convicted of 647(b) PC - Prostitution or another associated sexually related criminal offense:

1. Shut down the massage establishment where the conduct resulting in the conviction for 647(b) PC - Prostitution or other associated sexually related criminal offense occurred;

2. Impose a fine of up to $50,000 on the massage establishment where the conduct resulting in the conviction for 647(b) PC - Prostitution or other associated sexually related criminal offense occurred;

3. Prohibit the opening of a new massage establishment for up to 10 years in the same location where the conduct resulting in the conviction for 647(b) PC - Prostitution or other associated sexually related criminal offense occurred;

4. Prohibit any corporate officer, LLC member, partner in a partnership, or owner of five percent or more of a massage establishment from opening another massage establishment in the city or county where the conduct resulting in a conviction for 647(b) PC - Prostitution or other associated sexually related criminal offense occurred; and

5. Prohibit any corporate officer, LLC member, partner in a partnership, or owner of five percent or more of a massage establishment where conduct resulting in a conviction for 647(b) PC - Prostitution or other associated sexually related criminal offense occurred from opening a massage establishment in any California city or county.

"We hope this legislation will make it clear to local governments that we share the common goals of providing healthy, legal and quality care for the people of California, and working together to distinguish therapeutic massage services from criminal prostitution," said Netanel.

CAMTC is committed to ensuring that massage therapy can no longer be used as a subterfuge for illegal behavior. The state massage law created CAMTC to protect the public by implementing a fair, rigorous and effective statewide certification process to protect consumers against illegitimate practitioners. The law is intended to work in conjunction with local oversight of massage establishments.

The CAMTC certification process was created with the intent to help local governments ensure that massage therapy is not used as a subterfuge to violate the penal code, and does not prohibit local municipalities from enacting ordinances regarding massage establishments. CAMTC supports and cooperates with local governments and law enforcement agencies in their efforts to prohibit the existence of illicit massage parlors.

To find more information about CAMTC and statewide massage professional certification, visit www.camtc.org or read the Frequently Asked Questions.