The new law does not affect massage therapists, and it requires body works license applicants to submit to the same criminal background checks as licensed massage therapists.
A new law signed by Governor Raimondo allows cities and towns to regulate unlicensed massage parlors and “body works” spas, in an effort to crackdown on brothels masquerading as legitimate businesses.
The law was prompted by problems in Pawtucket, now the hub in Rhode Island for massage parlors. When the city passed an ordinance in December to license “body works” spas, two massage parlors took the city to Superior Court, where a judge found that the ordinance needed enabling legislation from the state.
Harmony Spa and Far East Accupressure remained open, along with Pleasant Massage Therapy, and all three continue to advertise on sex websites, where customer forums discuss the various physical attributes of the women and the sexual acts provided.