According to the Santa Barbara Independent, a 46-year-old man was arrested on sexual battery charges within his massage business, Max Relax, located at 1108 Casitas Pass Road in Casitas Plaza.
After hearing of two separate reports of sexual assault at the massage parlor, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's detectives investigated the owner, Xiaodong Mei, through the use of an undercover detective. This detective was assaulted comparably to the previous victims.
Detectives believe there are more victims. Mei is being held on $100,000 bail.
Attorney contributor, Bobby Thompson, who has experience with sexual abuse cases, has represented many victims who have been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist. In an interview, Bobby explains the legal rights of victims and what their options can be moving forward:
"Massage therapists are respected as people who can help those feeling pain or trying to gain knowledge about their bodies. Sometimes the power they are given is used for their benefit instead of the service of the patient. Parlors have the legal obligation to uphold their clients' safety and do everything possible to keep them protected. If proper safety measures are not taken, and an individual is abused while receiving services, the victims must know they have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the business."
"Through detailed background checks, businesses must ensure that employees have proper intentions and can do the work asked of them. When an owner does not take precautions, they can be considered liable in cases where the abuse occurred due to negligence. If misconduct complaints were filed against a particular therapist and they are still allowed to work, an example of negligence is on display. Victims may have grounds for a civil lawsuit and receive compensation for damages in such cases."