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Wausau fights to stop illegal massage services

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 6:45 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The city of Wausau is working to put a stop to a small group of massage locations that are reportedly offering illegal sexual services.

According to a survey from around 20 massage locations in Wausau, 60% said they knew of locations that offered sexual services.

“We have had the occasional complaint of some unprofessional and illegal behaviors occurring at our businesses,” Captain Benjamin Graham of the Wausau Police Department said.

One of the complaints came from Massage Associates owner Kristy Medo, who says she’s been receiving requests for the services.

“In the 16 years, I’ve been doing massage I haven’t had even one. All of a sudden a short time after taking over here at Massage Associates, There were a significant number of them,” Medo explained.

To help combat the illegal activity, the Wausau Police Department is using a state law that allows local cities to enact an ordinance where law enforcement can check massage locations permits.

“We will conduct walkthroughs at those businesses, they will be unannounced,” Captain Graham stated. “We will come through and introduce ourselves. Making sure that everyone providing massage therapy is licensed by the state of Wisconsin,” he added.

“We have a state law, but we need to be able to follow through on that on a local level, and this is the step to take for them (Wausau P.D.) to do so,” Medo said.

Both Kristy and Captain Graham agree that stopping the illegal activity helps to keep the integrity of the other massage businesses in Wausau.

“It only takes a couple to really ruin the reputation of that type of business,” Captain Graham explained.

“‘What do you do for a living?’ and you say ‘A massage therapist.’ You don’t want this knee-jerk reaction that assumes that you are doing something that is anything less than professional,” Medo added.

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