West Carrollton considering new rules for massage businesses

A proposal to strengthen requirements for those establishments in the city includes requiring all employees whose jobs include performing massage services to obtain a medical massage therapist license from Ohio.

“One of the biggest reasons the changes need to be made was because previously you’d have to have an owner of an establishment to have a license,” West Carrollton Police Chief Doug Woodard said.

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“And they could basically – under their umbrella – bring in other employees that might not be licensed,” he added. “This requires every employee (who) performs those type of services to be licensed by the state - not just one person who may or may not be present when the business is open.”

The ordinance set to be voted on by West Carrollton City Council Tuesday night would require owners of land on which massage establishments are located to sign a form acknowledging that type of business is operating on their property, Woodard said.

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“Sometimes in the past, when we would talk to the landlord about what businesses would be doing - performing what services – they’re not really sure,” he said. “They just know that they’re renting to John Doe and John Doe’s paid the rent and that’s about it. This way, no one can say that they were not aware.”

Other changes include:

•Making it a crime to perform, offer or agree to perform a massage with or without compensation to any individual less than 18 years of age without parental consent;

•Making the police department the city’s licensing authority once an occupancy permit is granted.

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“So they would have to submit documentation that would show that they have in fact received their state of Ohio medical massage certificate, that it is valid, and then they’d also have to submit a routine background check,” according to Woodard.

West Carrollton Mayor Jeff Sanner said the proposed changes “makes sense” and Councilwoman Jill Tomlin noted that “this is protecting not only the city, but whoever would get a massage and the operator of the massage services.”

If council on Tuesday night approves the legislation, it would be effective April 27, according to the city. Currently, only one massage business - A Muse Sings, Inc. & Massage Associates on Dixie Drive – operates in West Carrollton, Woodard said. That business already meets all of the proposed qualifications, he said.

In the past two years law enforcement officers have raided massage parlors in Middletown, Beavercreek and Miami Twp., arresting patrons and workers on charges of prostitution and soliciting for sex.