California massage therapist arrested, accused of sexual assault of client

A Wildomar massage therapist was arrested Monday, May 3, on suspicion of sexually assaulting a client during an appointment in Chino Hills, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

The victim reportedly scheduled the appointment on Sunday, May 2, through Soothe, a mobile wellness provider that offers in-home massage therapy. During the massage, 38-year-old Omar De Soto allegedly sexually assaulted the victim, and gathered his belongings and left before deputies arrived, the Sheriff’s Department said.

De Soto worked as an independent massage therapist with Soothe and was never an employee with the company, according to Gary Pfeiffer, Soothe’s chief marketing officer. The company monitors all activity and has a zero-tolerance policy for anyone that has issues related to their criminal history, massage therapist license or insurance, Pfeiffer said.

“We at Soothe were shocked by the allegations against one of the independent therapists who use our platform,” Pfeiffer said. “Soothe is committed to the safety of all parties – customers and providers – who book services through Soothe.”

Detectives contacted De Soto at his residence on Monday, the Sheriff’s Department said. De Soto was arrested on suspicion of penetration with a foreign object and was being held on $100,000 bail.

Detectives believe there may be additional victims, the Sheriff’s Department said.

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Pfeiffer said Soothe has been in contact with “all parties” and is assisting in the investigation.

The California Massage Therapy Council, which certifies massage professionals in the state, confirmed that De Soto is certified with the council and is aware of his arrest, according to Ahmos Netanel, the council’s CEO. The council is investigating the incident and was unable to provide any additional details regarding De Soto.

Anyone with information regarding the incident was urged to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 909-364-2000.


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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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