Along the East Coast the old saying goes, “There is a church and bar on every corner.” In California, you could certainly make the same comment about donut shops and massage parlors. It’s hard to go one block or one mile in Southern California without spotting one of the two businesses in a strip mall. Up until recently massage parlors have been primarily regulated on a state level – leaving local authorities to clean up whatever mess is left behind should the establishment take a less savory business trajectory. But a recent measure passed by state legislatures has put the power back in the hands of local law enforcement.
The Massage Therapy Reform Act (AB 1147) signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown was designed to offer greater oversight and accountability with the various massage parlors in the state. As recently reported by the LA Times, state-certified masseuse positions have increased by almost 13% since 2014.
But some counties can’t keep up with the booming industry – and any illegal activities that may come with it. The San Gabriel Police Department, serving the community just outside Los Angeles, is one of many local law enforcement groups who have hired more code inspectors to keep tabs on the number of massage parlors springing up. “A lot of these are hardworking people,” a San Gabriel P.D. spokesperson said, “but prostitution does go on.”
What Should I do if I’ve Been Arrested For Prostitution?
So, what does the loosening of regulations mean for the average massage parlor visitor or worker? For one thing, more opportunity – masseuses now have more places to work and clients have even more locations to stop in. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, this also means a greater chance of human trafficking and prostitution busts. More individuals will get caught up in a legal system that offers little mercy for such charges.
Whether you are a “John” or a sex worker, Southern California courts are ruthless in their prosecution of sex crimes. If you’ve been arrested in a massage parlor sting or charged with the solicitation of prostitution, it’s critical that you know your rights to avoid serious trouble.
First and foremost – keep quiet.
While most people’s immediate reaction to being arrested is to plead innocence, your best chance at avoiding a conviction is keeping quiet. When officers announce your Miranda Warning and say, “anything you say or do may be used against you,” they mean it. Whatever you say from that point forward will be logged and used to their advantage. So, above all, keep quiet and let the process carry you forward. Help is on the way.
Second – contact a criminal defense attorney.
An experienced OC criminal defense attorney will know the best way to defend your interests and secure your freedom. Again, prostitution is aggressively prosecuted in California courts. You are going to need a defense attorney who understands this and has the experience with such charges to back it up.
For more information, give the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti a call at (714) 707-2797 and schedule an appointment. We are available day or night.