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More victims feared in Md. masseur assault case | News

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More victims feared in Md. masseur assault case

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- There are questions on why it took several months for a massage therapist to be charged in two different sexual assaults, but police are first concerned there could be move victims out there.

Montgomery County Police told WUSA9 that Gavin Otto has been working at the Red Door Spa in Gaithersburg, Md. as a masseur, since 2008.

Police know that getting victims to come forward won't be easy.  

“They have to be brave, they have to be courageous. And, um, it’s a horrible thing that happened. It could be anywhere and I pray for those victims,” said a woman who identified herself as “Mimi.” She told WUSA9 she couldn’t believe after just exiting the spa with her mother-in-law on Tuesday.

“I had an awesome experience today though with them, so I would’ve never have thought that this [is] was happened,” said “Mimi.”

Masseur accused of sexually assaulting women customers

Last Wednesday, Montgomery County Police arrested Otto, 42, for violating two women during what was supposed to be a relaxing massage. The first incident happened on July 7, according to a police spokesperson.

Charging documents say Otto started to perform oral sex on a victim during her session. Police tell WUSA9 the victim, at first, tried to work things out with the spa and was embarrassed about pressing charges.

“It’s a intimate setting, two people and in cases like this we find that a lot of our victims are reluctant to come forward,” said Officer Rick Goodale, a Montgomery County Police Spokesperson.

Goodale said the spa didn’t contact police either. Then, about four months later, on November 3, police tell us a second victim filed a report right away claiming Otto inappropriately touched her during her massage.

People around the popular, high-end spa were stunned on Tuesday.

“You can’t let anything like that slide around here. It’s despicable really,” said Aaron Williams, who works and lives nearby.

A woman who asked to not be identified told WUSA9, “I’ve been to this spa a couple of times and had great experiences. Something like this would make me question the level of investigation and importance they give to those kinds of matters.”

Mimi said she hopes stronger background checks will be done in the future, but she doesn’t think it’ll keep her away. However, that’s part of the complication for police. Otto did not have any priors related to sexual assault before his arrest.

A door knock at Otto’s Derwood residence went unanswered on Tuesday. One neighbor said he didn’t hear about the allegations against Otto and described both him and a possible wife a nice people. The neighbor also said the suspect has children.

WUSA9 reached out to Red Door Spa Public Relations and was told they are working with police but because of the ongoing investigation, cannot comment any further.

Police are encouraging any possible spa victims, or any victim of a sexual assault for that matter, to contact authorities right away.  The Special Victims Investigations Division can be reached at: (240) 773-5050.

Other organizations, like the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, offer assistance in contact police for those victims who may feel uncomfortable reporting these types of crimes. 

Montgomery County officers the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program, also known as VASAP.

Police transported Otto to the Central Processing Unit and he was released after posting a $20,000 bond.

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