Massage therapist accused of covering women's faces during sex assaults

Photo of Massage Envy in Northwest, D.C. where a masseur allegedly sexually assaulted a woman on Sunday. (WJLA)

A 24-year-old Silver Spring, Maryland massage therapist was being held without bond Thursday after he was accused of sexually abusing a client at a Massage Envy in Tenleytown in Washington, D.C.

In a preliminary hearing Thursday, prosecutors added charges involving another victim. D.C. Detective Darryl Richmond testified that while investigating the September 17 incident, he learned that therapist Habtamu Gebreselassie was the subject of a similar complaint to the Massage Envy company from August 28.

In each incident, victims reported the massage therapist covered their faces with a cloth, engaged in unwanted sexual activity, and when the women complained, he begged forgiveness on his knees.

One of the victims was 66 years old.

Prosecutors said they believe there are other victims who may come forward.

As for why the company did not report the first incident to police or elect to fire Gebreselassie, Richmond said they retrained him on what was appropriate behavior.

Also, the first incident was not as clear-cut as the second, which involved oral sex.

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