Due in part to complaints from citizens, authorities in San Jose have began cracking down on Massage Parlors. In 2014, authorities investigated over twenty local parlors and have issued civil citations, criminal complaints for violation of California Penal Code 647(b) as well as eviction notices. None of the establishments investigated were found to have engaged in human trafficking.
The Massage Therapy Act passed in January allows local governments increased control over all massage therapists but it is clearly aimed at those suspected of illegal activities. Now city officials state a concern that this will create a vast demand for escort services and that a new effort is needed to curb an expected surge in illicit activities. Citizens should expect more sting operations as well as additional civil complaints and citations against the business establishment. Finally, it is clear that San Jose is aiming to begin a large scale Human Trafficking investigation.
CA PC 647(b) prohibits prostitution and solicitation. Any person who either actually participates in prostitution, agrees to have intimate relations with a prostitute, or offers to engage in acts of prostitution may be prosecuted under this law. Usually being charged with prostitution is considered a misdemeanor, carrying with it a penalty of up to 6 months in county jail and a potential $1,000 fine.