Councilman Unveils Proposal To End Sex Trade In Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA-TV/NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields plans to unveil legislation that could curb illicit sexual practices in Pittsburgh.

Shields’ bill would require all massage parlors and employees to be licensed.

“This basically human trafficking is going on under our noses in the city of Pittsburgh, in Allegheny County and certainly throughout Western Pennsylvania,” he said. “It’s a horrible story.”

Researchers have found that at least 15 in the city of Pittsburgh and at least nine massage parlors outside the city are fronts for prostitution.

Shields says licensing will allow city agents inside the business without a search warrant and that may be the first step in getting rid of an illegitimate massage parlor.

The Project To End Human Trafficking says prostitution is not a victimless crime, adding that many women working in illegitimate massage parlors are sex slaves who thought they were being brought to America for legitimate jobs.

They want the public’s help in identifying illegal massage parlors, looking for things such as late hours, massage rooms inside that feature credit card logos and surveillance cameras.

“Would a legitimate masseuse want to be stared at through the security camera? Would a legitimate masseuse want to have locks on all the doors so she can’t get out if somebody starts behaving badly?” asked Jessica Dickinson Goodman, a human trafficking researcher said. “It’s those kind of signs that nosy neighbors, that people who are going in for a legitimate massage can report.”

Meantime, KDKA Radio’s Mike Pintek talked with Jamie Turek of the Project to End Human Trafficking about the proposal how the human sex trafficking compares to drug trafficking.

Pintek thinks legalizing prostitution would help in curtailing the human trafficking issue.


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  • Jennifer Redfield Rainey

    they legalized prostitution in Denmark and all it did was spew out a whole new Sex Tourism industry – which trafficked even more people, simple basic economics of Supply & Demand- just look at SE Asia…do your research b4 you speak out Mike

    • Dan

      Funny the GAYest man in the city has a problem with straight sex!

    • Dan

      Mike doesn’t have to do any research. Neither do any of the other talk radio host. All they have to do is get ratings. No matter if they’re right or wrong.

  • redrock100

    This Sheilds is a clown and disgrace to the democrat party.

  • SaraJane

    Want to end sex trafficking? Just legalize prostitution and regulate it. Oh, that would be too simple and not Christian. Is it Christian to have child sex slaves?


  • chevelle64

    this will bring an end to prostitution? good luck with that one, been around quite a while i hear. better idea is legalize it and use tax from it to lower property taxes like gambling casinos are going to do.All his proposal will do is put it back on the can pass all the laws you want against alcohol , drugs , and sex but it never has worked and never will, face reality for a change.

  • Joe Mama

    Expand the casinos to include space for a brothel and marijuana bar! Tax the hell out of it and invest that money back into education. Just make sure that Corbett isn’t “buddy-buddy” with the prostitution and weed lobbies. If he is, he won’t tax them.

  • Mike

    I believe ending prostitution is not his goal but this activity is:

    “The Project To End Human Trafficking says prostitution is not a victimless crime, adding that many women working in illegitimate massage parlors are sex slaves who thought they were being brought to America for legitimate jobs.”

    Prostitution, like it or not, is the oldest profession and has little chance of stoppage legally or morally.

  • Anomie Jo

    As a MASSAGE THERAPIST / MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT THERAPIST that has been practicing for 12 years AND is waiting for her PA STATE LICENSE in the mail I am appalled at the stupidity and lack of research into information that is there to be seen! A LICENSING BILL passed in THE STATE in OCTOBER 2010. We are not MASSEUSE and we do not work in MASSAGE PARLORS!

    Personally, i do not want prostitution or human trafficing happeing, but even more I do not want it associated with my profession. It seems that everyone KNOWS where the places are that offer such services, and several have been busted, yet they are still open for business.

    The investigators can come in my place any time they want (not while I am in session) for a massage or just to look around. Ask me questions, get a massage, ask for extras in you want! See what my reaction is. I do not need to PAY $100 for that privilege! Or have the massage therapists in the area make the sweep and check out the “PARLORS”! I will record the session on my phone for you. I will do it for free and pay for the “massage” and give you the evidence you need. I got a place just down the road I can start with!

  • KW

    If we legalized murder, would that curb the murder rate?

    • Concerned

      No, but if we get rid of the anti 2nd amendment politicians we wouldn’t have to worry about protecting ourselves and being thrown in jail for it.

      The guy that was considering robbing your home or holding you up on the street would have to think twice; damn, this guy might have a weapon and not be afraid to protect himself and his family. Maybe I’ll just go get a job and support myself the old fashion way. “Hard work is easy to find, that is why hard workers are few and far between”.

      Give everyone a gun! Crime will nearly stop in less time than you think. Yeah the thugs in the inner city that law enforcement are afraid of will continue to kill themselves but I’ll bet they stay closer to home while they do it.

      Americans have become to reliant on big brother to help them through their lives. No-one can protect you from a violent attack but YOU! Go to your local Sheriff’s office, obtain a carry permit for protection, buy a gun, learn how to properly and safely use it through a professional trainer and carry it proudly! With the current state of affairs our country is in, you may wish you had and even sooner than you may think.

  • JM

    Thank you ‘MIke’ for stating the real issue. Yes, women being sold for sexual services (i.e. prostitution) is a part of the problem, but the actual focus is that they are not selling themselves, someone else is selling them and they, as individuals, are not in control of the situation or even ‘benefiting’ financially from it.

  • Kathleen

    A good start would be to enforce the immigration laws already on the books.

    • WhereisUSheaded

      BINGO! This is the most intelligent statement I have read in this forum. We spend millions a year to support the current laws, we create new Gov’t departments and entities to regulate illegal immigration but we do nothing to actually control or prevent it.

      The laws seem to be put in place so the Gov’t can chase funds, IE: Walmart gets fined $4m in PA for having illegal aliens working on their stores, how did they get here to start with? The Gov’t wants them here that’s how. The illegals make up a large percentage of the Democratic system once they find their way through the loop holes like having kids and becoming part of the welfare system through their naturalized child. It;s a crazy system we are creating and it is starting to take it’s toll on the USA. Imagine if we only gave aid and financial support to the people of America who truly have a need instead of sending our tax dollars, (actually, we borrow money from other countries, pay interest on it and send it out to poverty or war torn countries as aid) off to support countries who our elected officials feel can help us through oil, etc. We create nearly all of our own problems by pushing agendas until they break, then having to create diversion which will of course require us a Nation to pay for it.

      Instead of forcefully taking ownership in Americas largest Corporations, why not create a system that employs the physically able and pays them their welfare check by the hour rather than just handing out the cash? That way, all recipients would be required to under go a drug screening, be vetted through the ICE program (put in place by the Gov’t but truly has no legitimate over sight in place)

      I dont know, I guess I could go on and on but it won’t help.

      Anyone want to create a $500m campaign fund so I can have enough money to actually make a difference? That’s a whole different set of Gov’t control problems. The Gov’t gets involved in the NFL bargaining disputes but wont even consider putting a cap on Campaign funds. What a crock or $h!#.

      Good Luck America. We are surly going to need it if we do not wise up and take control of our own futures. i guess we can wait to see if the next two generations can fix it. We have become complacent to a fault through the enabling of our elected officials and the fact that nothing is in place to police what they do. Everything that they need to keep behind closed doors is classified as National Security Issues in one form or another so we have no way of actually protecting ourselves or even knowing we need to until its too late.

      O’well, I rambled enough and I likely make no sense at all to most people but hey, I feel better now, at least for the moment. Sorry for running on.

  • Deborah

    They talk about how they should end this sex trade to protect the rights of women, but what about the women who actually don’t mind being in the sex industry, so their rights to do with whatever they want to their body gets taken away? This is not going to stop prostitution, and as far as I’m concerned, prostitution should be legalized anyway. Hell, they allow women to end pregnancy because they’ve decided that it’s their body, their choice, but they’re going to stop prostitution because….?
    Legalize it, make them report their income, and be sure that they don’t have children working for them or any women who are being forced into it. That’s all, no big deal.

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