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According to Lt. Of those 80 businesses, 23 are permitted and 10 are in the permitting process. Another 30 illicit massage businesses are suspected to close within the next several months due to successful police efforts, and about a dozen massage parlors have not yet been subject to any police enforcement efforts.
Messier said that of those , 92 were removed by landlord education programs and 80 stemmed from undercover operations where SJPD confirmed prostitution was occurring. The policy dates back to when former Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio proposed a crackdown of massage parlors that are fronts for prostitution, and voted to successfully make the issue a city priority.
From that first gamble until now, Oliverio thinks his actions not only worked, but set everything in motion. The policy required massage parlor owners to obtain state licenses and maintain permits registered with SJPD. The nonprofit Polaris, which works to end human trafficking, released a report in Jan. Coincidentally, the Super Bowl was set to arrive in Santa Clara that year, along with its commonly correlated increase in local sex trafficking, whether statistically warranted or not.
Anecdotal experiences are key pieces of identifying potential locations of illicit activity. Some of these places had dozens of reviews, with select cases receiving up to 80 reviews, especially after the site Backpage — a classified advertising website that had become the largest marketplace for buying and selling sex — shut down in April Many similar sites popped up in its place.
Messier said residents who were offered sexual services when intending to get a legitimate massage also call his department with tips. However, the lieutenant emphasized that SJPD has to prove that prostitution is going on. In fact, he said massage parlor shutdowns are handled and tracked separately from prostitution enforcement cases.