BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                  SB 285
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  June 21, 2011
          Counsel:       Stella Choe


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                     SB 285 (Correa) - As Amended:  May 24, 2011
           
           
           SUMMARY  :  Provides that any person who provides a certificate, 
          diploma or other document, or otherwise affirms that a person 
          has received instruction in massage therapy, knowing that the 
          person has not received such training, is guilty of a 
          misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500, or imprisonment in 
          county jail for up to one year, or both.  Specifically,  this 
          bill  states that where a person is prosecuted for a crime in 
          connection with massage therapy, including crimes relating to 
          prostitution, the arresting law enforcement agency may provide 
          to the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) information 
          concerning the person's massage therapy training, including the 
          name of any school attended by the person. 

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides a process for voluntary certification by the Massage 
            Therapist Organization of a person seeking to be a massage 
            therapist or a massage practitioner.  ›Business and 
            Professions (B&P) Code Section 4600 et seq.]

          2)Provides that a person must complete 250 hours of specified 
            training to obtain certification as a massage practitioner, 
            and 500 hours of specified training to obtain certification as 
            a massage therapist.  (B&P Code Section 4601.)

          3)Provides that certification is valid for two years.  ›B&P Code 
            Section 4601(f).]

          4)Provides that a person who obtains a certificate has the right 
            to practice massage in any city, county, or city and county in 
            California.  ›B&P Code Section 4612 (a).]

          5)Authorizes local government entities to enact reasonable 
            health and safety requirements for massage establishments and 
            zoning rules that do not discriminate against massage 








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            businesses.  (B&P Code Section 4612.)

          6)Authorizes local government entities to regulate massage 
            services by persons who are not certified.  (B&P Code Section 
            4613.)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "This 
            legislation addresses fraudulent issuance of transcripts by 
            massage schools.  Criminalizing this conduct will deter 
            massage schools from assisting human traffickers in sexually 
            exploiting women.

          "Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal 
            industries in the world.  Traffickers reap billions in profits 
            by using force, fraud and coercion to rob victims of their 
            freedom.  According to the U.S. State Department there are 
            12.3 million human trafficking victims around the world; 56 
            percent of whom are women and girls.  In 2009, nearly 50,000 
            victims were identified worldwide, a 59 percent increase over 
            2008.  California is a prime target for traffickers.  The 2007 
            Human Trafficking in California Final Report found that the 
            majority of victims were non-citizens, with or without valid 
            travel documents.  The report stated that prostitution was the 
            most common form (47 %) of human trafficking followed by 
            domestic servitude (33%) and agriculture (2 %).

          "Increasingly, human trafficking victims are being forced to 
            work in illegitimate massage parlors, providing sexual 
            services under the guise of massage therapy.  Traffickers 
            bring in women, often from Asia, and force them to work off 
            the debt of being smuggled into the United States by working 
            in massage parlors as prostitutes.

          "In order for a trafficking victim to work in a massage parlor, 
            either a local police department permit or a certificate from 
            the CAMTC is required.  The CAMTC was established by the 
            Legislature to certify massage therapists statewide.  Police 
            and CAMTC require a transcript from an accredited massage 
            school certifying that the student has received 500 hours of 
            massage training, in English.  Many victims speak little or no 
            English and could not complete such training and traffickers 








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            do not want to wait six months for victims to complete 
            training.  Thus, the traffickers purchase falsified massage 
            school transcripts.  Ending access to fraudulent transcripts 
            will make human trafficking significantly more difficult.  
            Unfortunately, under existing law, it is not a crime to sell 
            someone a phony massage school transcript.  This bill would 
            remedy that problem.

          "SB 285 would provide that a person who knowingly issues a 
            fraudulent massage therapy certificate, transcript, diploma, 
            or other document is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to 
            a fine of up to $2,500 per violation, up to a year of 
            imprisonment or both.  Cutting off access to fraudulent 
            transcripts will make human trafficking significantly more 
            difficult.  

          "In addition, SB 285 authorizes law enforcement to provide the 
            identity of the massage school attended by a therapist who has 
            been prosecuted for prostitution to the CAMTC so that massage 
            schools that are in league with human traffickers can be 
            readily identified.  Gathering this information in a single 
            location makes it easier for law enforcement to recognize and 
            prosecute fraudulent massage schools.

          "By strengthening laws governing the operation of massage 
            parlors, SB 285 will reduce the ease with which human 
            traffickers operate in the State of California."

           2)Background  :  According to the background provided by the 
            author, "This legislation addresses the fraudulent issuance of 
            transcripts by massage schools.  Increasingly, human 
            trafficking victims are being forced to work in illegitimate 
            massage parlors, providing sexual services under the guise of 
            performing massage therapy.  Traffickers bring girls in, often 
            from Asian countries, and force them to work off the debt of 
            being smuggled into the United States in massage parlors as 
            prostitutes.

          "In order for these victims to legally work in a massage parlor, 
            either a permit from the local police department or a 
            certificate from the California Massage Therapy Council 
            (CAMTC) is required.  The CAMTC was established by the 
            Legislature two years ago to certify massage therapists 
            statewide.  Both police departments and CAMTC require as a 
            condition for the issuance of such permits, a transcript from 








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            a massage school certifying that the massage therapy student 
            has received 500 hours of massage training, in English at an 
            accredited school.  Many of these victims are from foreign 
            countries, speak little or no English and could not complete 
            such training.  In addition, human traffickers want to force 
            them into the sex trade as soon as possible and do not want to 
            wait six months to complete necessary training.  The sex 
            trafficking operations usually purchase falsified massage 
            school transcripts certifying 500 hours of training has 
            occurred when it has not.  Cutting off access to fraudulent 
            transcripts will make human trafficking significantly more 
            difficult.  Under existing law, it is not a crime to sell 
            someone a phony massage school transcript.  This bill would 
            remedy that problem.

          "SB 285 would criminalize the conduct of these 'paper mill' 
            schools that distribute fraudulent transcripts in volume for 
            compensation and deter them from assisting human traffickers 
            in the sexual exploitation of women.  This measure contains 
            provisions to charge any person from a massage therapy school 
            who provides a fraudulent certificate, transcript, diploma or 
            other document with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of 
            $2,500 per violation, up to a year of imprisonment or both.

          "There is a second problem this legislation deals with.  Each 
            police department only knows of prostitution arrests 
            attributable to massage schools in their local area.  This 
            information is not gathered in a single location and made 
            available to law enforcement agencies.  This makes it very 
            difficult to identify the fraudulent massage schools.  SB 285 
            authorizes law enforcement to provide the identity of the 
            massage school attended by a therapist who has been prosecuted 
            for prostitution to the CAMTC so that massage schools in 
            league with human traffickers can be readily identified."

           3)The CAMTC  :  CAMTC is a non-profit organization established by 
            California law in 2009.  The governing statutes describe the 
            composition of the organization and set standards for massage 
            practitioners and the more advanced massage therapists.  CAMTC 
            provides voluntary certification for massage therapists to 
            practice statewide.  If a person chooses not to get statewide 
            certification through the CAMTC, that person would have to 
            obtain a local license or permit to practice in each city or 
            county.  (B&P Code Section 4613.)  









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          According to the CAMTC Web site, "CAMTC is required to:

             a)   Create and implement voluntary certification for the 
               massage therapy profession that will enable consumers to 
               easily identify credible Certified Massage Therapists 
               (CMTs) and Certified Massage Practitioners (CMPs);

             b)   Ensure that CMTs and CMPs have completed sufficient 
               training at approved schools; and

             c)   Increase education and training standards consistent 
               with other states."  ›Found at 
                (as of June 15, 
               2011).]

           4)Undercover Investigation of Massage Schools  :  A recent article 
            detailed the findings of an undercover investigator who 
            visited various massage schools in California based on tips, 
            police information and data collected by the CAMTC.  

          According to the investigator, "This one in particular looked 
            nothing like a school.  It was an ordinary house.  Not to be 
            stereotyping, but she looked like a madam with very 
            provocative clothing and makeup.  I told her I was interested 
            in (buying a transcript) and she said 'yes, no problem' and 
            asked me to come back in a few days with a check,' . . . 'Some 
            operated that way, at others, I was in and out with a 
            transcript in two hours.'

          "On another occasion, the investigator met with the director of 
            a school whose ramshackle 'office' was cluttered with what 
            were clearly transcript templates and 'stacks and stacks of 
            photos of girls.'

          "Many of these 'schools' not only created fake paperwork, but 
            took fingerprints and included a photo of the 'student' which 
            the school then sent directly to the CAMTC for certification.  
            Transcripts cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on 
            the 'school.'  

          "The undercover investigator found that human traffickers were 
            selling phony massage school transcripts so prostitutes could 
            pose as legitimate therapists and work or operate massage 
            parlors that are nothing more than fronts."  ›Feather, In the 
            Shadows: Human Trafficking, Fraud and the Cost to the Massage 








                                                                  SB 285
                                                                  Page  6

            Profession, Massage Today, June 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 6 found 
            at 
             
            (as of June 15, 2011).]  
           
           5)Argument in Support  :  According to the  Orange County District 
            Attorney  , "The proposed regulation of massage parlors that 
            operate as fronts to prostitution will help prevent sex 
            trafficking in persons and commercial sexual exploitation.  
            These illegitimate massage parlors cannot operate and cannot 
            receive local police permits without false certifications and 
            diplomas.  

          "As you well know, human trafficking is one of the fastest 
            growing criminal industries in the world.  Traffickers reap 
            billions in profits by using force, fraud, and coercion to rob 
            victims of their freedom.  There are approximately 14,500 to 
            17,500 people being trafficked to the United States each year. 
             It is also estimated that thousands of American citizens are 
            trafficked within the United States.

          "Introduced by Lou Correa, SB 285 is one step toward combating 
            the crime of human trafficking, which is a fundamental issue 
            in public safety and human rights.  This bill will punish 
            those who are profiting from the horrendous crime of human 
            trafficking and will also help to protect potential victims."

           6)Prior Legislation  :  SB 731 (Oropeza), Chapter 384, Statues of 
            2008, creates the Massage Therapist Organization 
            (Organization) and provides for the certification of massage 
            therapists and massage practitioners by the Organization and 
            establishes certification criteria.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Orange County District Attorney (Sponsor)
          California Massage Therapy Council (Co-Sponsor)
          Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
          California Fraternal Order of Police
          California State Sheriffs' Association
          Long Beach Police Officers Association
          Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association
          Santa Ana Police Officers Association








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           Opposition 
           
          None 
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Stella Choe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744