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Local

St. Charles aims to strengthen massage license regulations

Proposed ordinance would require spas to report sexual misconduct

ST. CHARLES – St. Charles officials are considering adopting an ordinance requiring massage businesses to report any knowledge they have of employee sexual misconduct.

The proposed ordinance identifies employees, managers and agents of massage businesses as mandated reporters who also must inform police of any customer allegations of sexual misconduct.

St. Charles Police Chief James Keegan recommended the ordinance, which he said is pursuant to the city's ongoing review of and effort to legitimize massage practices and strengthen existing regulations.

If the City Council approves the new regulation, police will make sure massage businesses are aware of it.

“We will foster discussion on a proactive basis to ensure compliance by dropping off and explaining the merits of the ordinance change,” Keegan said.

Penalties would apply for noncompliance of the reporting policy. Keegan said any violation within the city's massage ordinance can result in a fine, license suspension or license revocation.

Several massage businesses in St. Charles have been cited for prostitution including Shangri La Spa and Sauna, 2015 Dean St., which is facing the possible loss of its license and a $500 fine. Mayor Ray Rogina had revoked Shangri La's massage license in February, but the business is still open because the case has been under a court-ordered review by the city's Liquor Control Commission.

Rogina is the city's liquor control commissioner. He oversees the Liquor Control Commission, which considers alcohol, tobacco and massage license issues, and may revoke and suspend licenses and impose fines on businesses guilty of violating their license terms.

Rogina is expected to make a final determination soon about Shangri La's license. He recently stated that “there was a preponderance of evidence of seven ordinance violations” in January by Shangri La.

Two other St. Charles massage businesses closed – Main Spa, 504 E. Main St., and Best Massage, 2774 E. Main St. – after a police sting in March 2016 led to prostitution arrests at the sites.

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