New restrictions, requirements for Baton Rouge area massage parlors

New restrictions, requirements for Baton Rouge area massage parlors

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – An ordinance to prevent sex trafficking in local massage parlors was approved by the Metro Council on Wednesday.

In January of 2022, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office arrested multiple people in connection with an alleged prostitution ring at massage parlors in East Baton Rouge Parish.

District 3 Councilmen Rowdy Gaudet said there has been a total of 27 businesses in East Baton Rouge Parish that have been reported for sex trafficking. After looking into previous requirements and regulations, Gaudet said he noticed some problems.

“Number one, our ordinance was far outdated, it didn’t address the realities of being in that type of business, and number two, we had nothing in there from what I could see to protect against someone who was trying to do human trafficking. So, I dug into the ordinance there’s a state board that runs this ordinance. I got some assistance from a human trafficking organization, and they provided some practices on what local governments can do,” said Gaudet.

After a long discussion, the Metro Council came to an agreement to pass the ordinance. The new restrictions state that massage parlor business hours should be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is also a yearly license renewal requirement along with home massage restrictions.

“I don’t think this meeting established anything because I felt like the vote should have been extended for two weeks. Postpone it for a while, let everybody get their information in, there’s a lot of people who were not even contacted about this,” said Tammy Seneca, owner of Baton Rouge Therapy Massage Parlor.

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