Jul 26, 2014

Palo Alto Massage Therapist Arrested for Suspected Sexual Battery

Four alleged victims of the former day-spa employee have come forward, according to Palo Alto police. Salon staff assisted with the investigation.

Palo Alto Massage Therapist Arrested for Suspected Sexual Battery
A 35-year-old male massage therapist was arrested this week for suspicion of sexual battery while employed at two locations of an upscale, local day spa, according to the  Palo Alto Police Department.

Rajesh Kumar Vashisht of Menlo Park self-surrendered to police Wednesday and was arrested on a warrant charging him with misdemeanor sexual battery, police said. 

The case stems from an investigation launched in November 2012 when a woman, an adult in her late teens, reportedly told police that she had been sexually assaulted in June 2012 by a massage therapist while at a massage appointment at LaBelle Day Spa & Salon at Town and Country Village at 855 El Camino Real.

Detectives identified the suspect as Vashisht, and proceeded to work collaboratively with the salon's administrative staff to ascertain if there were additional incidents, police said.

Three additional alleged victims, females in their 20s and 30s, were found, who told authorities that Vashisht had also sexually assaulted them during three individual massage appointments between February 2012 and December 2012 at the  Stanford Shopping Center location of the same spa, police said. 

The well-respected LaBelle business has been in operation for more than 30 years, and has a San Francisco salon in addition to its two Palo Alto locales. 

Vashisht was no longer a spa employee when the women were interviewed, police said. No information on his current employment was provided. 

Detectives presented their case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and charges were filed against the suspect. 

Police booked Vashisht at the station Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., and released him after he posted bail.  

While detectives are unaware of any additional victims, they are asking anyone with information about this suspect to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. 

Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org, or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Don’t miss updates from Patch!