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Mesa Massage Parlor Prostitution Crackdown Leads to Happy Ending For Law Enforcement

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There was a "happy ending" to the month of September for Mesa Mayor Scott Smith as his crusade against "rub-n-tug" massage parlor yielded some results.

Since September, a police task force has made 20 prostitution busts related to massage parlors in Mesa.

In late August, Smith vowed to re-write sections of city code that allowed massage parlors that act as fronts for prostitution rings to run rampant in Mesa.

Since 2006, the number of massage parlors in Mesa has increased from 73 to 120.

Until the new laws are drafted and go on the books, Smith set up a police task force to go gangbusters on the city's dens of sin, and the hookers aren't the only ones getting burned.

The task force has conducted 127 inspections and found at least 43 different parlors violated some section of state or local law, like using unlicensed massage therapists or changing the name of their business without informing the city.

The violations yielded citations for 63 people so far --; mostly managers and people running the businesses were ticketed, but there were also at least 20 citations for prostitution.

Smith's new proposals would make it easier for law enforcement to distinguish between law-abiding licensed massage parlors and the ones where clients are more likely to leave with a rash than an above-the-belt rub-down.

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