TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A licensed massage therapist has been arrested on both felony and misdemeanor charges accusing him of committing sexual crimes against patients, authorities said.
What You Need To Know
- Police: Massage therapist Thomas Grasso's treatments crossed into criminal conduct
- He's been charged with sexual battery-rape and battery on a pregnant woman
- Investigators say cases involving Grasso span 10 years; 19 people have come forward
Nineteen people ranging in age from the 20s to the 70s have come forward so far in the case against Thomas Grasso, according to Titusville Police. Grasso is facing felony charges, including sexual battery-rape and aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. The reports span back 10 years.
Spectrum News 13 spoke with three women who went to police. One of the women, who asked to remain anonymous, said she went to Grasso for treatment because she has known and trusted him for 25 years. But instead of helping her heal from an injury, she said he used his position of power to abuse her.
“He took something away from me that I can’t get back. And I have to live with that every day," the woman said.
Belinda Bintemire contacted police in September, following an encounter with Grasso.
"I want to reach out to the victims who haven’t come forward. I want them to feel comfortable to come forward," Bintemire said.
Grasso worked out of a Titusville office building, providing therapeutic medical massages. Many massages crossed into criminal territory, according to police documents.
“This is about as egregious as it gets,” Sgt. Timothy Wearing of the Titusville Police Department said. “For someone you believe has your best interests at heart, to exploit these victims in this way, is horrible, and he should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."
Digging through court records, Spectrum News 13 found a separate case involving Grasso from October. In that case, the police report indicates the victim videotaped Grasso exposing himself several times during her massage. The report states that, after seeing the recording, Grasso admitted to police he was the person in the video.
According to the Florida Department of Health records, the state took emergency action in November to restrict Grasso from practicing.
Grasso is being held on a $96,000 bond. He was due in court on Friday. Grasso's attorney has not responded to requests for comment.