January 29, 2015

Leggett Introduces Legislation to Combat Human Trafficking in County

County Executive Ike Leggett has sent legislation to the County Council that will give police an effective tool to combat human trafficking in Montgomery County and protect victims of this devastating crime.

The proposed legislation, supported by the Executive’s Human Trafficking Task Force, will impose regulations on “bodyworks” establishments, which have become a common venue for human trafficking. “Bodywork” establishments are businesses that advertise bodywork services, such as reflexology, acupressure and other practices that fall outside the State definition of massage, or where any employee, agent or contractor performs bodywork on an individual.

The County’s Human Trafficking Task Force is recommending two bills intended to address loopholes in the current law, making Montgomery County a less attractive location for human traffickers and improving collaboration and enforcement ability between the departments of Health and Human Services, Permitting Services and Police.

The other piece of legislation will amend the zoning code to require that all land uses be appropriately licensed where required by state or local law. As a result, operating a massage or bodyworks establishment without a license will also be grounds to revoke a Use & Occupancy Permit.

See more information in the news release.

Read The Washington Post article.