San Diego looks to fight human trafficking, proposes stricter regulations for massage parlors
San Diego is considering a crackdown on massage businesses to help fight prostitution and human trafficking, the third most lucrative illegal industry in the City after drugs and gun sales.
City officials say the proposed regulations, which the City Council’s public safety committee unanimously endorsed Wednesday, Oct. 23 would provide enhanced enforcement without damaging legitimate massage businesses.
The regulations, which the full council is expected to approve later this fall, are based on recently approved rules in San Francisco and other cities across the nation.
City officials said an aggressive crackdown is necessary based on the size of the human trafficking and prostitution problem. During the first nine months of 2019, detectives have been solicited 23 times during 46 undercover operations.
City officials said many massage therapists who become victims of human trafficking are typically recent immigrants, often from Asia, who answer ads that don’t mention the job will include a sexual element. To discourage them from quitting, the owners of the massages businesses or others involved in the operation sometimes threaten the therapists with arrest, deportation or shaming their families by revealing they’ve had sex for money.
Local groups fighting human trafficking have estimated that about 100 of the roughly 650 massage businesses in San Diego are engaged in prostitution, human trafficking or related illegal conduct.
They say San Diego is particularly vulnerable to those problems due to the large presence of people in the military, many of whom have recently served in foreign countries where prostitution may be legal.
The proposed regulations would revive a requirement that all massage businesses get police permits, which could be revoked for illicit activity.
— David Garrick, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Grand theft, 8200 block Camino del Oro, 3:30 p.m.
Battery, 5300 block La Jolla Blvd. 1:30 a.m.
Vehicle break-in, 8600 block La Jolla Shores Drive, 3 p.m.
Grand theft, 9400 block Gilman Drive, 9 a.m.
Drunk in public, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 9 a.m.
Stolen vehicle, 2800 block Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, 10 a.m.
Battery on elder adult, 2500 block Torrey Pines Road, 11:42 p.m.
Stolen vehicle, 7800 block Fay Ave. 2 p.m.
Vehicle break-in, 8600 block Villa La Drive, 2:30 p.m.
Vehicle break-in, 300 block Bandera St. 10 a.m.
Residential burglary, 7100 block Caminito Donoso, 11 a.m.
Grand theft, 7900 block La Jolla Shores Drive, 7 p.m.
Drunk in public, 7500 block Girard Ave. 9:41 p.m.
Petty theft, 5700 block La Jolla Blvd. 10 p.m.
Vehicle break-in, 2500 block Torrey Pines Road, 11 a.m.
Grand theft, 8400 block El Paseo Grande, 5:30 p.m.
Vehicle break-in, 2700 block Torrey Pines Road, 6 p.m.
Vandalism, 5400 block La Jolla Blvd. 8 p.m.
Petty theft, 6700 block La Jolla Blvd. 9 p.m.
Cause harm elder adult, 8500 block Ruette Monte Carlo, 11 a.m.
Fraud, 6100 block Cardeno Drive, 3 p.m.
Petty theft, 8600 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 3:30 p.m.
Commercial burglary, 5600 block La Jolla Blvd. 5:45 p.m.
Vehicle break-in, 600 block Nautilus St. 11:58 p.m.
Vandalism, 9500 block La Jolla Farms Road, 8:38 and
Grand theft, 700 block Prospect St. 6 p.m.
Shoplifting, 1000 block Prospect St. 1:31 a.m.
Grand theft, 7000 block Country Club Drive, 11 a.m.
— Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon from police reports