WAUSAU, Wisconsin (WSAW) – The city of Wausau is working to shut down a small group of massage parlors that are believed to be offering illegal sex services.
According to a survey of around 20 massage centers in Wausau, 60% said they were aware of sites offering sexual services.
“We have had occasional complaints of some unprofessional and illegal behavior occurring in our businesses,” said Captain Benjamin Graham of the Wausau Police Department.
One of the complaints came from Massage Associates owner Kristy Medo, who says she has received requests for the services.
“For 16 years, I have been doing massage, I haven’t even had one. Suddenly, shortly after taking over at Massage Associates, there were a significant number of them, ”explained Medo.
To help combat illegal activity, the Wausau Police Department uses a state law that allows local towns to pass an ordinance allowing law enforcement to verify massage permits.
“We will be making visits to these companies, they will not be announced,” said Captain Graham. “We’re going to come by and introduce ourselves. Make sure everyone who provides massage therapy is licensed by the state of Wisconsin, ”he added.
“We have state law, but we have to be able to follow through on it at the local level, and that’s the right thing to do for them (Wausau PD) to do it,” Medo said.
Kristy and Captain Graham agree that stopping the illegal activity helps maintain the integrity of other massage businesses in Wausau.
“It only takes a couple to really ruin the reputation of this type of business,” said Captain Graham.
“‘What do you do for a living?’ and you say ‘A massage therapist.’ You don’t want that knee-jerk reaction that assumes you’re doing something less than professional, ”Medo added.
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