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A local attorney is warning operators of exotic massage parlours that their establishments could be considered brothels if they are being used for any form of sexual activity, including intercourse or any other sexual act, in exchange for money. Attorney-at-law Ralph Thorne, Q.C. was contacted by the WEEKEND NATION last night after we spoke to several of these operators here, including some who willingly revealed the intimate details of businesses and were also being widely promoted on world wide web. “While the owner may describe it as a massage parlour, the law would treat it as a brothel, and brothels are illegal operations,” said Thorne, pointing out that the operator or anyone involved in management of the business could be found guilty of the offence of keeping a brothel. The Sexual Offences Act 1992, Section 13 states that a person who: (a) procures a minor under 16 years of age to have sexual intercourse with any person either in Barbados or elsewhere; or (b) procures another for prostitution, whether or not the person procured is already a prostitute, either in Barbados or elsewhere; or (c) procures another to become an inmate of a brothel or to frequent a brothel, whether the person procured is already an inmate of a brothel in Barbados or elsewhere, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for 15 years. However, the risk of prosecution is so far not proving to be a hindrance for some operators here who admitted they do not prevent “their girls” from going further with a paying client, if he or she wanted more than a massage. “There is a thin line between exotic masseuse and prostitution but I do not allow any form of prostitution on my premises,” said Antonio Jaime, owner of Exotic Massage 4 U – one of the first exotic massage parlours to operate here. Jaime said he insists that his employees sign a detailed contract which states, among other things, that the premises would not be used for any “lewd acts or sexual intercourse” and he publishes the Barbados’ Sexual Offences Act on his website. “The posting of the website was an attempt to clear the grey clouds associated with the business,” he said. “The ladies are contracted to work here and in their contract the law regarding prostitution is outlined to them, where if they do not use my premises for immoral gain but used the premises to arrange to meet clients off premises for immoral gain, they are still in contravention of the relevant legislation.” “I am very vigilant because I do not want my business to turn into a brothel,” Jaime said, as he described exotic massage as “a sexy rub down”. At Charms Secrets, the owner, “April”, a former exotic dancer, said as far as she was concerned what happened behind closed doors between the client and the employee was their business. “When I employ these girls, I tell them that they have to be able to do two things – hand jobs and do massages in lingerie. Any other thing is their personal business,” she added. She admitted that while she allowed sexual intercourse on her premises “it is not forced on the client”. “That is where the money is,” she stated. “I started out dancing in a strip club but I did not strip, so I tell my girls that they do not have to have sexual intercourse. There are certain girls who expose themselves in other massage parlours,” said the 29-year-old womanThe owner of Seductive Touch Exotic Massages, said she started the business three months ago after she realised that “this is where the money is”. “We offer full body massages but what goes on in the room after that is their personal business,” she stated. The woman, who did not give her name, said she was surprised at the number of applications she received from young women when she posted an advertisement for exotic masseuses. “As long as they can do full body massage in lingerie, that is fine with me,” she said.