Fake massage therapist charged with sexual assault, pregnant woman says he fondled her

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A 57-year-old Hollywood man is under arrest, charged with sexual battery and impersonating himself as a licensed masseur.

Jianan Cheng was taken into custody after a customer of the Oriental Foot Massage at 2921 Stirling Road reported to police that Cheng sexually assaulted her during a visit to the spa.

The woman, who told detectives she was 6 months pregnant at the time and received a Groupon gift voucher from the father of her baby to the massage parlor, said she arrived at the spa and checked in. The voucher was to cover a 30-minute foot massage and 30-minute body massage.

According to the report, as the victim laid on her back, Cheng, who it was discovered during the investigation was not a licensed massage therapist, began massaging different parts of her body. At one point, the victim said Cheng began massaging her chest and asking her if okay at which she replied, “yes.” At frequent times, Cheng would ask the victim if what he was doing was OK.

However, the victim said he began going back to areas that he had already massaged, but this time he fondled areas of her breasts and at the same time was touching a part of her body near her genitals. She said she told him “not to do that, your hand belongs up here,” at which time she grabbed his hand and moved it back to a different area of her body. She said he acted as if he understood, but then took her hand and placed it on his genitals.

The victim said she told Cheng, “Are you kidding me?” She ended the massage and wanted to get off the table. She said he told her he was sorry and said that they still had 20 minutes left in the session. She said she got dressed and left the business, but had to return to get the belongings she had left behind. She said Cheng was waiting at the door with her jewelry. When she returned to her car, she said Cheng appeared at her driver’s side window saying that he wanted to explain.

He told the victim that he wanted her to know that everything he did she had consented to and that he “hopes it does not make him seem like a bad person.”

The victim told detectives she did not consent to the defendant touching certain parts of her body.

While Oriental Foot Massage is a licensed facility registered as Tropical Spa Inc., with the Florida Board of Health, Cheng did not have a license to massage.

He had been employed at the business for three months, according to the owner of the spa, who allegedly told police that he massages backs and feet only. She said Cheng presented a Florida driver’s license when hired and a license to massage. He has been the only male masseuse, the owner said. The owner said she did not make a copy of any of his credentials and that he was paid in cash for his work.

He is facing one count of sexual battery on a victim 18 years or older, one count of battery, one count of practicing without a license, and one count of fraud for misrepresentation as a licensed masseur.

The owner said he no longer works at the business and that he was not fired but was told to not come back until the results of the investigation were completed. The owner said had not received any other complaints against Cheng.

He appeared before a judge on Friday morning where his bond was set at $5,000. Cheng, whose citizenship is listed as China on the arrest report, is also to refrain from giving any other massage pending the outcome of the case.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.