Does Santa Clarita Have A Massage Parlor Problem?
A statement from a group claiming to be "very concerned Santa Clarita parents and business people" says that message parlors in the northern Los Angeles County city of 177,000 residents are out of control and number at least 65.
A statement given to the Weekly along with a printout of the names and addresses of every parlor in town argues that only one such establishment is allowed to operate right outside the city because the county regulates the often sex-prone businesses with stricter rules and enforcement
The group believes the businesses are sometimes the sites of sex slavery, drug sales, and other crimes, and that city officials have displayed "aggressive denial" of the any parlor problems as a result of politics.
The statement argues that there are at least a few loopholes in city code that allow the businesses to thrive. City manager Ken Pulskamp denied at a Santa Clarita City Council meeting last week that a parlor crisis exists, the group reports.
"Young women and girls are forced to work in these parlors from many countries around the world as virtual sex slaves," the statement reads.
A piece by a local newspaper The Signal late last year indicated there were at least 40 such shops in the city, with most of those having opened in the last year or two. Sheriff's officials, however, indicated that recent inspections found no prostitution.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.