Jury Finds Grove Masseur Not Guilty Of Sexual Battery
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A masseur who was accused of inappropriately touching a client during a massage at a Coconut Grove spa is off the hook.
On Wednesday, a Miami jury acquitted Victor Antonio Sanchez, 53, on one count of sexual battery of a financial advisor who went for a massage at the Tiano Spa and Salon.
Sanchez stood emotionless in court as the not guilty verdict was read.
After the not guilty verdict came down late Wednesday afternoon, Sanchez walked out of the courtroom a free man and told CBS4 News he knew all along he would be vindicated.
“I’m innocent, I always knew I would be free,” Sanchez said in Spanish. “I’m very happy. Justice was done. The law of God doesn’t believe in lies. I’m very happy, I’m thankful to god, my attorneys and my family.”
Sanchez said that following this ordeal, he plans to switch careers.
“It’s what I like but it’s not worth it,” he said. “So much sacrifice for nothing. I spent two months in jail.”
In addition to the financial advisor, two other women, who said they were also groped by Sanchez, testified against him during the trial. The women, however, did not call police after the alleged incidents.
“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,” one of the alleged victims testified during the trial 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 in the news.
A second woman testified that Sanchez 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 blamed 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.
During closing arguments, the defense reiterated accusations that detectives used embellished lies to coerce somewhat of a false confession from Sanchez.
“His statement that it was consensual is not a confession to a crime,” said the defense.
Charges have not been filed on behalf of the two other women who came forward and accused Sanchez of touching them inappropriately. The State Attorneys Office says the cases are under review.