Cascade Township, MI – An unnamed victim filed a report with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department claiming her massage therapist, 49-year-old Lawrence Urban, touched her in an inappropriately sexual manner during their massage session on March 15 at the Therapeutic Stress Free Massage Center.
A felony warrant was issued for Urban, and he is now facing fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
Urban admitted to authorities that he asked if the woman wanted an orgasm. The victim emphatically declined. Urban then replied, “Your body is telling me one thing, but you are telling me another,” and proceeded to touch her genital area.
While awaiting arraignment, Urban is out free.
Disturbingly, Urban isn’t the only massage therapist who has been accused of improperly touching or assaulting a client.
A similar report was made accusing 28-year-old Christopher R. Beard, a massage therapist at the day spa Knuckles ‘N’ Knots in Virginia Beach, Virginia of unsuitable behavior.
The report stated that on February 12 he inappropriately touched a female client during a rubdown. Beard was arrested and has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and practicing without a license.
Authorities noted the victim debated whether or not to report the incident, but finally did so out of concern for Beard’s future clientele.
Walter Hugh McLauchlan, 38, a massage therapist in Norman, Oklahoma was arrested Wednesday and is facing five felony counts of sexual battery stemming from client complaints. He referred to himself as “Mac.”
A court affidavit detailed how one of the victimized women told police a man named “Mac” touched her in a “lewd and lascivious manner without their consent” during her massage appointment at Serenity Massage.
After receiving several similar complaints from other clients, a female detective went undercover, as part of the investigation, and patronized the same massage parlor. She too was assaulted by a therapist who identified himself as Mac.
Bail was set at $20,000 and McLauchlan was remanded to the Cleveland County jail.
In April 2012, 42-year-old Richard Conner of Auburndale, Florida was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually violating a woman and inappropriately touching three others at a Winter Haven tanning salon, Image On The Edge. He was found guilty as charged with two counts of sexual battery, three counts of battery, and four misdemeanor counts of sexual misconduct in the practice of massage therapy.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Code of Ethics, massage therapists are expected to adhere to a professional level of behavior.
Massage practitioners are legally bound to conduct legitimate, therapeutic sessions with their clients. Wavering from the legal and personal wishes of the client can result in related charges from sexual assault to prostitution.
[Feature Image via Shutterstock]