Christiansburg passes ordinances to prevent prostitution at massage and spa businesses

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— The Town of Christiansburg is one step closer to fighting the national trend of prostitution at massage businesses. On Tuesday, the Town of Christiansburg voted 6-0 to pass two ordinances to combat the issue.

Now, when new massage and spa businesses want to open here, they must be both licensed in the Commonwealth and now the Town of Christiansburg.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to make sure we are in a position to be able to enforce the ordinance if needed," said Assistant Town Manger Andrew Warren. “It shows that there is an awareness in the community of message therapists and the desire to increase integrity and make sure the integrity of the profession is maintained within the Town of Christiansburg.”

This same feeling was shared among the massage therapists who attended Tuesday's council meeting.

“I support the town in trying to increase the integrity of licensed massage professionals, and to delineate the difference between establishments that might be using the term massage, but may not necessarily be licensed," said massage therapist Sara Yun.

In addition to adding the town license businesses need, Christiansburg also voted 6-0 to change the town’s definition of prostitution to better align with state code.

“I’m glad that we’re addressing it I just want to make sure it doesn’t hinder us in what we do legitimately," said massage therapist Debbie Hale.

“We don’t want to create a situation where when they come to get their business license they’re slowed down by this process," Warren said.

Both ordinances go into effect immediately. The town will be working with businesses that are already set up to help them get their town licenses as well.

It costs $10 annually for a massage therapy permit and $25 for having a massage establishment.