Iowa City identifies non-compliant massage businesses through ordinance


    <p>Four of massage businesses failed to comply with the new city ordinance, receiving violation notices. They have until January 24th to respond to those notices.{/p}

    Cities across the corridor are cracking down on illegal massage businesses to try and weed out human trafficking within the parlors.

    Iowa City's new ordinance, enacted fall 2018, is already being put to work.

    Investigators in Iowa City worked to create a list of seven massage parlors that either received complaints or were featured on an elicit massage parlor review website.

    Last month, city staff stopped at those locations requiring them to fill a business information form, asking for employee names and proof of licensed massage therapists.

    Four of those businesses failed to comply, receiving violation notices. They have until January 24th to respond, and it will be up to the city to decide what happens to these businesses.

    "Unless those within city staff, neighborhood and development services suspect that there’s illegal activity going on, a violation of law then they would make a referral to the police department, said Police Sergeant Jorey Bailey. "If they had suspicion of criminal activity, they’d make a referral to the police department, then we’d open an investigation."

    The city attorney told CBS2 the city does not have a definitive answer as to what will happen next. She said it depends on how much information they receive from these businesses.

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