For release on April 27, 2015   CONTACT:
Alisha Schoen, Deputy District Attorney
Community Prosecution Unit
(408) 808-3766     NEW LAW, TASK FORCE LEADS TO MASSAGE PARLOR CLOSING     A San Jose massage parlor has closed its doors under pressure from a new law, the District Attorney’s Office, and other county agencies.   When The Rose Massage on Bascom Avenue closed earlier this month it became the first such closure since the implementation of a new law that required such businesses to get a permit from local law enforcement.   “Any massage parlor that cannot or will not obtain a proper permit should close today,” Deputy District Attorney Alisha Schoen said. “The purpose of the ordinance is to make sure these businesses are not operating as fronts for prostitution.”   Under the new law, which went into effect on January 1, local governments can require a massage business owner to obtain a permit through a local agency. Individual massage therapists must still obtain permits by the California Massage Therapy Council rather than a local agency.   In this case, Community Prosecutor Alisha Schoen – focusing on massage parlors in an unincorporated swath of Santa Clara County known for its concentration of massage parlors – informed the owner that she needed to be permitted, a process which requires a background check. The owner did not do so, and subsequently closed. Schoen is working on the initiative with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, County Counsel, and Planning Office.   Not every massage parlor is a brothel, operating under a veil of legitimacy.  However, many are illegal fronts (approximately 40,000 across the nation). Some red flags that citizens can look out for are:   • Covered or opaque windows;
• Late hours of operation;
• Parking in the rear only;
• Security cameras to screen who enters;
• Locked door/buzzer; and
• Scantily clad female employees.   # # #  

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