City Council wants to regulate ‘touch therapy’ massage parlors

Rikard Larma/Metro. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.
Rikard Larma/Metro. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown today introduced legislation called the Touch Therapy Bill which she said would crack down on prostitution operations masquerading as massage parlors.

Brown said her office found a loophole in the language of the state Massage Therapy Act of 2008 that exempts from regulation touch therapists who practice Asian bodywork and other types of alternative health massages.

“I do not know how or why these exemptions were granted, but I can almost guarantee that they were not conceived of or implemented at the suggestion of a woman,” Brown said in a statement.

“They are flagrantly violating the law right under the noses of law enforcement, casting a cloud of suspicion on the professionals that are actually practicing the legitimate healing techniques involved in touch therapy and in the process, using and abusing women and girls who deserve a better life.”

The bill, which was referred to a Council committee, would require Philadelphia massage parlors to acquire, maintain and display at all times a valid Department of Licenses and Inspections-issued “touch therapy license.”

In order to be issued the license, applicants would be required to pay a $100 fee and submit all locations where therapy will be performed and lists detailing all prior criminal convictions and instances in which the applicant had any professional or occupational license denied, suspended or revoked.

Licenses will be able to be denied to applicants who have been convicted of certain crimes or to those who L&I have probable cause to believe may have committed any crime related to massage parlors.

The law would also create a new $300 penalty for those “engaging in touch therapy without a valid, current license.”

“This bill will finally regulate an industry that has allowed some ‘bad apples’ to operate with an ‘anything goes’ approach, all under the auspices of ‘touch therapy,’” Brown said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.