The national federation convened a human trafficking committee last year and has been working on training for state boards on how to better screen license applicants.“We try to work for prevention on the front end,” Persinger said.A national database of licensed therapists also is being tested to better detect fraud.Council members and neighboring business owners had expressed concerns about Lotus Spa's suggestive advertising, clientele and late hours in the November Watchdog probe.
En español | In the old days, you most likely would meet Mr. Right in college, on the job, maybe in a bar or though family and friends.
Today, people are increasingly getting together through online dating — especially if they're over 50.
Neither Feng Huai or Fung Fa Wai show up as licensed massage therapists in Iowa, according to Tony Alden, board executive at the Department of Public Health's Bureau of Professional Licensure.
But the board ultimately decided to refer the complaints about Lotus Spa to the Polk County attorney for further investigation.
But for the most part, the sex trade taking place happens among criminals who aren’t licensed, he said. Debra Persinger, executive director of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, questioned a local code in Urbandale designed to weed out illicit massages.
Urbandale only allows new businesses that offer spa services beyond massage.But Persinger dismissed that, saying only 54 schools of about 1,300 nationally are accredited.A school needn’t be accredited to teach massage therapy.Documents filed in the case included interviews with children who said they took out ads on after they were forced into prostitution.But in late November, a Sacramento County (Calif.) Superior Court judge ruled that Backpage did not create the ads on its site used for human trafficking and held owners immune from prosecution under the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA).But Alden said this week state leaders would be loath to enact regulatory roadblocks that hinder legitimate businesses from opening.“Ultimately, this is criminal activity, and it’s up to law enforcement and the general public to report it,” he said.