Man charged with sexual assault while posing as massage therapist

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS -- Police in Cottonwood Heights say a man accused of sexually assaulting two women during massage sessions has turned himself into the Salt Lake County Jail.

Jail officials say 46-year-old Robert Battle was booked into jail Friday morning then released.

Last week, prosecutors charged Battle with three counts of unlawful massage therapy and one count of sexual battery. Charging documents say last month Battle gave one victim a series of massages and then sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors say another victim was sexually assaulted in November of last year.

According to police, Battle recently graduated from massage therapy school but was not a licensed therapist. They say, he met the victims at the school, and they had agreed to practice on each other.

"He would ask these women, ‘You know, with my experience why don't I show you what I have? We could compare notes,'" explained Cottonwood Heights police spokesman Beau Babka.

Babka continued, "During his massage, he would be very unprofessional and do things that were very inappropriate, obviously touching inappropriate areas, so that would be sexual assault."

Police say one of the alleged assaults happened at Battle's home in Cottonwood Heights; another happened in a space he was leasing at 7050 S. Highland Drive.

Battle was working as a personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness in South Jordan. Police say he may have met some of his victims there, but no alleged assaults happened in the gym. A manager at Lifetime Fitness says the company is doing its own investigation.

Prosecutors say Battle also made a court appearance Friday on the charges. Battle has another appearance set for next month.


Story compiled with contributions from Sandra Yi and Marc Giauque.

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