Sheriff’s Station and City Code Compliance Plan Inspections of WeHo Massage Parlors

The gate entrance, just left of the tree, to Momo Therapy massage at 7551 1/2 Santa Monica Blvd., which is rated on RubMaps.com

The massage parlors in West Hollywood that offer sexual services by a workforce of largely Asian women soon will be inspected regularly by West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station and the city’s Code Compliance Division.

Capt. Edward Ramirez, head of the West Hollywood Station, said he and Daniel Rivas, the city’s new code compliance manager, have met to develop a coordinated plan to ensure that the massage parlors are complying with city and state laws and regulations. Ramirez said they will focus on those listed on RubMaps.com, a “Yelp” for customers of illicit massage parlors who rate them and describe their satisfaction with the sexual services they receive.

“We’re not trying to ruin people’s lives. We’re not trying to punish people for small misdemeanor crimes,” Ramirez said, responding to concerns by some that the inspections will result in punishment for the massage workers, some of whom may be undocumented workers. “We are just going to ensure  that nothing is happening that is against the law.”

A story published by WEHOville last month revealed that there are nine active massage parlors listed on RubMaps. The 722 highly erotic reviews posted there by customers of the West Hollywood massage parlors and two on La Cienega Boulevard describe paid sexual encounters with young and middle-aged women, most of whom are Asian or Latina. On RubMaps the parlors are described as offering Asian, Chinese, Dominican, Korean, Latina and Thai massage, with only one labeled as offering “Caucasian massage.”

They will look to ensure that the massage workers have either a city license or one from the state Massage Therapy Council, which is a requirement of city law.  They also will check to see if the facilities are clean, that they contain signage required by the federal, state and local law, that the premises are well maintained and that the front door remains unlocked while the business is open. They will check to see if the business complies with rules that it close by 10 p.m. and not open before 7 a.m. 

They will inspect to ensure there are no unlawful recordings made at the parlor and that the manager is on-site.  And they will check to see that the massage workers are properly dressed.  City law is quite specific about that, stating that “all massage technicians, attendants and employees of massage parlors or off-premises massage businesses shall wear clean garments. These garments must be of a fully opaque material and provide complete covering of the genitals, genital area, buttocks and breasts.” 

Ramirez said that any evidence of human trafficking will be reported to the Sheriff’s Department’s Human Trafficking Bureau.


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mike mccoy
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mike mccoy

What is Eric referring to? I’ve been to Studs and never saw prostitution. They should crack down on these so-called massage parlors. Sex trafficking is a serious crime.

Larry Block
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Larry Block

The lieutenant who previously ‘investigated’ these massage parlors was suspended and may have lots his pension after many years of service to our community. Im sure this story and the actions is merely a reaction to that other investigation.

Gimmeabreak
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Gimmeabreak

Can you provide more details on this, Larry? What was he suspended for?

Allegra
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Allegra

These aren’t exactly Burke Williams and this sure isn’t Beverly Hills. Most massage parlors here, are obviously very thinly disguised whore houses. West Hollywood is just providing them cheap venues and has been looking the other way. (Consider this a complaint by a resident, Eric Jon..) My guess is that 99 percent of the “massage therapists” aren’t residents and that 98 percent of the clients are also not. Other than a liquor store or two, I don’t believe either side supports our local businesses. I also don’t think the Sheriff will be ruining any lives by enforcing the law. They’ll… Read more »

carleton croninc
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carleton croninc

“Aye, there’s the rub.”

Gimmeabreak
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Gimmeabreak

Is it legal for cops to just walk into a room where a client is being given a massage?
Is it illegal for a client to be uncovered while receiving a massage?

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

Hopefully they will also investigate the nude stripper clubs in West Hollywood and the Studs theater. I do believe that wherever the investigations are, there should be warnings issued instead of arrests at first to put a stop to what are considered victimless crimes. Arrests should only occur if misconduct occurs after warnings. Our limited Sheriff’s department should not spend a great deal of resources on this matter when there are serious crime prevention measures which need more attention. Code compliance should spend time on residential renters complaints and less time on issues which do not affect 80% of the… Read more »

Gimmeabreak
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Gimmeabreak

Eric Jon Schmidt, what misconduct are you suggesting at nude stripper clubs and Studs Theater? I’ve never been to either of these places, but I know people who have, and as I understand it is activity between consenting adults which is not illegal. Would you impose your values on everybody else? You’re the last person I expected to hear this from.

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

It is commonly known by guys who go to the strip clubs that the dancers are for sale afterhours which I have no problem with. Again, it’s a victimless crime. I’m not pushing my values, I’m pointing out just the opposite. If the Sheriff and Code Compliance wastes time and money on massage parlors where does it end? Apparently my irony was too subtle. Why not spend time and money on investigating crime which actually has victims? We don’t need sex cops in West Hollywood. There is nothing wrong with sex. In fact we might have less uptight and angry… Read more »