Denver City Council launches massage business license to curb human trafficking

Within the next year, massage businesses in Denver must obtain a license or close up shop under a new law that city council members agreed to Monday night.

About 150 massage businesses operating in Denver would need licenses to stay open, Denver Police Commander Paul Jimenez told The Denver Post. He estimated as many as 40 might be illegally offering sexual services.

Police are framing the new law as an attempt to target businesses involved in human trafficking. Often, the people offering sexual services were brought into the area — or the country — and forced into the acts against their will, Councilman Paul Kashmann said, who believes the licenses should weed out the bad actors.

“The basic reality is that these women are prisoners being forced into multiple occasions of unwanted sex day after day,” Kashmann said. “Often they’re found to be living on the premises.”

Denver police will check backgrounds of those applying for a license,…

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