COCONUT GROVE, Fla. - Despite several sexual abuse complaints from customers involving a massage therapist, a Coconut Grove salon and spa continued to allow him to work in close contact with clients until police got involved.
Tiano Salon & Spa, 2840 Oak Ave., is now involved in two lawsuits in Miami-Dade Circuit courts. One is a civil case and the other is a criminal case.
"We don't have a manager and the owner never comes here," an employee at the spa's front desk shouted Friday. "I can't believe they did that. I don't know why they did that."
On Friday morning, Judge Thomas J. Rebull, who is presiding over the criminal case, ordered the business to disclose to the court the name of one of the complainants by August 1st.
Prosecutors were hoping that the victim and any other victims would agree to testify in the criminal case against Victor Antonio Sanchez, 53, of Hialeah. His trial is set to begin August 11.
Rebull said a female judge would contact the woman to see if she did not want to be a part of it. Her identity would not be known to the public.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Spencer Eig, who is presiding over the civil case, did not require the business to identify the victim in the complaint.
The spa's lawyers wanted Rebull to do the same. It was a move that the prosecution classified as an attempt to conceal evidence of a crime and hide a potential witness.
These are some of the complaints that customers made before Sanchez was charged with sexual battery in February.
A June 20, 2013 complaint was titled DO NOT GO FOR MASSAGE.
"The male completely tried to rub between my legs and my breasts after uncovering them," an anonymous Yelp user said. "I am simply disgusted."
A July 14, 2013 complaint was titled MASSAGE SEXUAL ASSAULT.
"He started massaging my legs and kept inching up until he was massaging the crevice between my leg and my hoo-ha," Yelp user Monica F. said.
In an e-mail July 2013, a woman sent an e-mail to the spa saying Sanchez needed to be fired, because he had sexually assaulted her.
"If you keep him there, he will continue to do this," the woman said. "I want him to suffer the consequences."
The spa management gave her a refund, but did not stop Sanchez from working at the spa, prosecutors said in court Friday.
In February, a woman contacted police. She said Sanchez began to perform oral sex during the massage. The woman also filed a lawsuit against the spa in civil court.
Sanchez plead not guilty to sexual battery. The business owner, Michael Crespo Hernandez, did not respond to a Local 10 News message.
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