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Posted on September 8, 2023 in Sex Crimes

Are Sensual Massages Legal in Arizona?

A massage is a great way to relieve stress and relax the body’s muscles. Establishing a relationship with a massage therapist can make clients feel more comfortable when getting massages.

However, though the relationship between a massage therapist and their client is naturally intimate, given that massages involve so much touching, it should never cross the line into anything sexual in nature. With that being said, sensual massages are illegal in the state of Arizona.

What Would Be Considered a Sensual Massage?

A “sensual massage” can refer to different things. Generally speaking, a sensual massage involves the masseuse using their hands and fingers to stimulate erogenous zones and thus provide pleasure to the person receiving the massage.

These types of massages are highly recommended for couples to increase intimacy, but they are not the kind of massage you could or should expect to receive at a massage parlor or spa. 

Nevertheless, sensual massages are still often illegally provided for clients all over the country, including Arizona.

Ethical Standards For Licensed Massage Therapists in Arizona

To become a licensed professional massage therapist in Arizona, one must obtain a license from the Arizona State Board of Massage. This requires respecting the ethical standards set forth by the board.

Among these ethical standards is the notion that licensed massage therapists must make their clients feel comfortable and safe. Therapists also cannot engage in any sexual activity with clients, even if the client themself attempts to sexualize the relationship.

Furthermore, under the board’s ethical standards, licensed massage therapists cannot advertise that they offer sensual massages for sexual gratification or ones that constitute sexual activity under A.R.S. § 32-4253.

Why Are Sensual Massages Against the Law in Arizona?

The relationship between a massage therapist and their client is intimate enough as it is. But that doesn’t mean massage therapists can violate that connection by taking the massage in a sexual direction.

Under certain circumstances, a sensual massage could cross the line into a sex crime. From the viewpoint of the client, offering to pay in exchange for a sensual massage could be considered to be a form of prostitution. And if a massage therapist touches a client inappropriately, it could be viewed as sexual assault.

No matter the initial cause, sensual massages should never take place in Arizona, as they not only violate ethical standards but the law as well. 

Prostitution Vs. Sexual Assault

Prostitution is illegal in Arizona. Under Arizona law, for a conviction, the prosecutor must prove the following:

  • There was an offer of money for something of value in exchange
  • The exchange involved a sexual act
  • There was a “substantial act” to fulfill the offer

When a client tries to solicit a sensual massage, it could potentially lead to a charge for prostitution, the penalties for which could include jail time. 

On the other hand, sexual assault involves touching a person inappropriately or engaging in sexual acts without consent. If a massage therapist intentionally behaves or touches their client inappropriately, their actions can result in charges of sexual assault. The consequences of such a charge can involve prison time.

Get Help From an Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer If You’re Charged With a Sex-Related Crime

If you’re facing charges for a crime related to a sensual massage, it’s best to consult an Arizona criminal defense attorney right away.

These cases are tricky to handle, but a defense lawyer will have the requisite skill and experience to provide valuable guidance and representation. They can craft a viable defense on your behalf and work diligently to obtain the best possible outcome.

Contact the Criminal Defense Lawyers at Orent Law Offices In Phoenix To Get Legal Assistance Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.

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