East Tennessee masseur accused of inappropriately touching customers

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Police charged a masseur with sexual battery based on a complaint by a woman and her 19-year-old daughter that he inappropriately touched them during massages at a Chattanooga spa.

David W. Michals of Ooltewah is free on a $5,000 bond pending a court hearing Wednesday.

A police affidavit shows Spa Morrell fired Michals after the complaints about the massages in early January. A telephone message left Tuesday seeking comment was not returned.

Tennessee law forbids massage therapists from touching the breasts, buttocks or genitalia during a massage. Sexual battery is defined as any sexual contact without the victim's consent.

Police Lt. Kim Noorbergen said investigators felt that Michals crossed the line between normal professional behavior and criminal fondling.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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