Alleged Victims Testify In Trial Of Masseur Accused Of Sexual Battery
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The alleged victims testified Tuesday in the trial of Victor Antonio Sanchez who is accused of inappropriately touching women during massage sessions at a Coconut Grove spa.
Sanchez, 53, is facing one criminal charge for the sexual battery of a financial advisor who went for a massage at Tiano Spa.
Tuesday was the was the first day of testimony in the trial.
Opening statements were graphic, with the prosecutors describing the alleged abuse.
The trial is expected to last at least one week. A judge recently ruled that he would allow two other women to testify in this criminal case. Both women say Sanchez inappropriately touched them, however, they did not call police after the alleged incident.
“He told me to relax….That it was part of the massage, and he pushed me like back to the table. I tried to get up again and he put his hand over my mouth,” said one of the alleged victims on Tuesday.
The accuser said Sanchez then kissed her on the mouth and asked her to have dinner with him.
The two alleged victims say they came forward after reading about the case on the news. One woman who is expected to testify during trial, told the judge why she didn’t initially come forward.
“I was scared. They had my credit card information. They knew who I was,” the woman said.” I didn’t know what he was capable of.”
A second woman also testified that Sanchez also touched her crotch and breasts during a massage with her.
“I felt a shadow over me and he gave me a kiss on my forehead,” said the second accuser.
The second woman said she did not call police because she was assured by the spa’s management that Sanchez would be fired. However, he remained on the job months later and allegedly molested the woman in the case that saw the criminal charge brought against him.
The therapist’s lawyer said the woman’s allegations are fueled by her lawsuit against the spa.
“He’s innocent because this is a story of fabrication and manipulation. This is a story about a woman who is overly sensitive. Who made something up because she was uncomfortable,” said Defense Attorney Julia Seifer Smith.
The therapist’s attorney also blames the police.
“And to assist her in that fabrication have been the police,” said Smith.
Prosecutors showed a video of police interviewing the therapist.
It shows the therapist shaking his head “no” when a police detective asked if he had ever offered or asked for sex from clients.
Minutes later, through a woman translator, he said he did have consensual oral sex with the accuser.
Other women are expected to testify about inappropriate behavior by Sanchez during other massages.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4 News last month, and again outside the court room Thursday, Sanchez insisted that he is innocent.
If convicted, Sanchez faces up to 15 years in prison.