- Associated Press - Saturday, July 2, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s cities and towns now have the authority to regulate body works businesses under a new law designed to crack down on massage parlors that act as brothels.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the legislation into law on Thursday.

Pawtucket lawmakers introduced the legislation in the General Assembly after a court ruled that the Pawtucket City Council couldn’t create its own licensing and public-health rules.

The lawmakers say the new law will allow Pawtucket to weed out businesses believed to be fronts for prostitution.

They say massage therapists favor the new law because it will help create a clearer distinction between their legitimate massage services and storefront brothels.

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