(WSVN) - Some South Florida spas may be providing more than just relaxation. And that’s become a problem. 7’s Brian Entin has more on how one spa is sick of the indecent proposal.
It’s relaxing and relieves stress.
Patricia Romaniuk, owner Heavenly Organic Spa: “I definitely love massage. It’s part of the healthcare industry. So it’s wellness and therapeutic.”
Patricia Romaniuk studied for months to become a licensed massage therapist – and opened Heavenly Organic Spa in North Miami.
But she says some men are looking for more than what her spa offers.
Patricia Romaniuk: “He verbally said he wanted a sexual massage. I could not believe it.”
Patricia says the requests are happening more frequently … and the men are getting more brazen.
Patricia Romaniuk: “They try to flash me body parts and stuff like that. I have had somebody ask me if it’s OK for them to touch themselves, and of course my answer is ‘No.’ One person actually came from Naples, so he’s a tourist.”
Patricia suspects the tourist and other men may be confusing her spa with another one not far from her.
Online reviews for that spa describe sexual encounters in graphic detail.
Patricia says spas like that give massage professionals a bad name.
North Miami Police say they are aware of the illicit massage parlor reviews near Patricia’s business — and they are looking into it. But experts say this is a problem that can’t be solved by simply shutting down one or two illicit massage parlors. Because they will just pop up somewhere else.
Tonja Marshall, 1 Human Trafficking Coalition: “They’re all over our area, and throughout the State of Florida.”
Former Federal Law Enforcement Special Agent Tonja Marshall now organizes training for local police and code enforcement officers on how to investigate illegal massage parlors.
She says while they may be hard to spot from the street — there are signs.
Tonja Marshall: “Just sitting and seeing what clientele is coming in and out. If it is 99.9 percent male — that is an indication. If your workers never leave when the lights go out.”
Patricia started requiring customers to fill out paperwork making it clear there’s no sex at her spa.
Patricia Romaniuk: “I just want to make sure that people don’t come here and confuse my spa for one of those spas.”
She’s hoping police can do something to make sure this is the only kind of rubdown – customers can get.
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