BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed a bill to combat human trafficking by regulating bodyworks practices.
“My office works every day to protect all Massachusetts residents,” said AG Healey.
An Act Regulating Bodyworks creates a regulatory structure for bodyworks practices to prevent criminals from using these currently unregulated businesses as fronts for human trafficking.
Over the past two years, the AG’s Office has pursued indictments in connection with five separate criminal enterprises involving 10 individuals who set up illicit massage or bodyworks establishments where they trafficked victims for sex.
This legislation will close a loophole that exempts these businesses from state oversight by adding bodyworkers, bodywork therapy, bodywork facilities and schools to the current state licensing structure overseen by the Division of Professional Licensure.
The bill also restructures the current oversight board to include membership from the bodyworks industry as well as a law enforcement representative who focuses on human trafficking.
Bill SD 1840 is sponsored by Senator Mark Montigny, a Democrat from New Bedford.