ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Fifteen of 22 Escondido massage businesses inspected in December were cited for violating municipal code sections, with 10 in violation of fire and safety ordinances, authorities said Wednesday.
More than $10,000 in state fines were assessed to several of the businesses, according to Lt. Ed Varso of the Escondido Police Department.
“Our city welcomes reputable businesses. However, if a business engages in unlawful activity we will use all legal means to either gain compliance or shut the businesses down,” Escondido Police Department Chief Craig Carter said.
“The police department prefers voluntary compliance over prosecution, but we will pursue criminal charges against employees and business owners who chose to operate their business in violation of existing laws.”
Escondido’s City Attorney’s Office, code enforcement and fire departments and state agencies participated in the joint effort.
Last year, Escondido police detectives discovered a massage business engaged in prostitution-related activities. The business, which operated as Oriental Therapy in the 1600 block of East Valley Parkway, was shut down in December.
Additional massage business inspections are planned for the future, Carter said.