Sacramento County moves to rub out illegal rubdowns

Sacramento County law enforcement is tired of playing hand-job Whac-A-Mole.

For every illicit massage parlor cops shut down, the county says another illegal operator reopens in the same location. Until now. A new ordinance adopted last week by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors says that when a massage parlor is closed for illegal activity, no new parlor can open in that location for one year.

A staff report from county finance director Julie Valverde says this is because parlors that lend themselves to being fronts for prostitution have the same basic layout: Outer windows are usually tinted, and the door behind the reception desk is typically locked. Behind that door, in a hallway connected to small rooms, is where all the naughty stuff happens.

Because of the layout, the staff report says, “it costs very little to ‘flip’ ownership from one illicit operator to another.”

The staff report says the ordinance is less severe than a “red light abatement” from the district attorney, which rescinds a property owner’s rental rights for up to one year and requires a high burden of proof. Under the ordinance adopted May 28, if a massage parlor is closed, the property’s owner can still rent or lease it to other businesses.

In late April, the sheriff’s department made arrests at seven massage parlors in the county, seizing business licenses and permits in the process, a department release states.

In the meantime, apropos of nothing, here’s how a real Whac-A-Mole champ does it:

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