MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A massage therapist who was giving female patients lymph node treatments is charged with felony sex battery against two of his patients and misdemeanor battery against two other women.
Miami Beach police say the cases stemmed from incidents dating back to April 12th in which the woman went to the office of massage therapist Elias Marcelo Ergas, 50, at in the 1400 block of 20th St.READ MORE: Cadaver Dog Alerts To 'Something' In Heavily Wooded Area After Boyfriend Of Abducted Woman, Andreae Lloyd, Is Found Nearby
The victims said they went to the office for the treatments and said their groins were rubbed by Elias in order for toxins to be released from their lymph nodes. But then they said Elias went too far.
Neighbors nearby said they were horrified by the developments in this case. Delores Weiss said “It is disgusting. That is all I can tell you,” Ebgenia Gradova said. “The fact that you can’t trust anyone. It is unsettling,” Ebgenia Suravea said.
“You have to be able to trust your doctor but when they take advantage, that is not fair.”
Miami Beach Police Officer and spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez initially told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench that “Three separate victims say they were inappropriately touched by the massage therapist. He is now charged with a felony count of sex battery and two misdemeanor counts of battery. We are working closely with the State Attorney’s office and we are urging the public if you feel you have been victimized to call Miami Beach police at 305 673-7901.”
Since that interview, Ergas was charged with the sexual battery of a 2nd woman, meaning that 4 victims have come forward.
Elias came before Circuit Judge Renatha Francis in bond court. She told him he could not work right now as a massage therapist or in any capacity related to that until this case is resolved.
Elias spoke out in court saying, “When you consider this is not true and I am very busy because I worked for so many years and I am very well known in the market and I know so many people and clients.”READ MORE: First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces $100 Million Proposal For Cancer Research
He and his attorney said it was unfair to keep him from his livelihood.
But Judge Francis said, “You are presumed to be innocent but there’s also from where I sit I have to protect the community and I am sufficiently concerned about the allegations in these cases.”
Bond was set at $15,000 and Elias was told he could have no contact with the victim in the sex battery case.
She said, “That means no contact whatsoever and stay 500 feet away from the victim at all times and stay away from where she works and lives and goes to school and you are to be involved in no criminal activity and have no guns and no weapons at home and have no concealed weapons at all.”
D’Oench knocked on the door of Elias’s office but the business was closed.
His neighbors said they did not want to comment, adding that they rarely saw him and did not know him very well.
Police questioned Elias and say he denied all the charges against him. In court we learned that he has not been arrested before.MORE NEWS: Noise Complaints Rampant Through Miami Springs During Event In Hialeah
If you think you have been victimized or know of any other victims, call Miami Beach police at (305) 673-7901.