Thu., July 15, 2010 2:47pm (EDT)

Illegal Massage Parlors Get Squeeze
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 4 years ago

MACON, Ga  —  
State inspectors are cracking down on illegal massage parlors using a new state law.

Inspectors from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office issued Cease and Desist Orders for six so-called Asian spas in Macon. Under a new amendment to the Georgia Massage Therapy Act it is now illegal for businesses to offer massages unless those providing them are licensed massage therapists. Fines have also been increased.

For several years Macon has been a hub for these businesses because the city lacks strict regulations. Police have conducted multiple raids for prostitution, but the spas end up reopening. Secretary of State Brian Kemp says the community needed help.

“We are watching. Especially people that, you know, that we’ve had problems and complaints from citizens and from local elected officials and we want people to know that when we receive those we’ll act on them.”

Kemp says police in Macon assisted in the inspections. Nearly 40 spas in the Atlanta-Metro area were also targeted in the sting operation. The City of Macon and Bibb County recently passed their own laws targeting the massage parlors. Those laws go into effect by the end of the year.