Crime

Woman says she was touched inappropriately during a massage. She may not be the only one, cops say

Ruslan Grushco, 44, was charged with battery.
Ruslan Grushco, 44, was charged with battery. Sarasota Police Department

A former massage therapist is facing charges after two people told police he touched them inappropriately during massage sessions.

One woman told Sarasota police that on Aug. 3 she was battered by Ruslan Grushco, 44, a licensed massage therapist, during a session at Massage Envy, 1279 S. Tamiami Trial.

When she was greeted at the 90-minute appointment by Grushco, he told the woman he had “low vision and was legally blind” and went on to discuss other personal problems, according to the probable cause affidavit.

During the session, the woman told police she noticed Grushco lifted the sheet higher than normal and put his hands in areas she was not used to during a massage session. She became uncomfortable and asked him to stop but he asked if she was sure he didn’t want him to continue, according to the affidavit.

At the end of the appointment, Grushco also asked for her information to become a “private client,” according to the affidavit. Soliciting clients while employed at Massage Envy is against company policy, according to Sarasota police.

On Jan. 8, the owner of Massage Envy was filing a complaint against Grushco after they were made aware of “multiple other inappropriate encounters” Grushco had with other clients and co-workers, the affidavit stated.

Grushco is charged with battery in connection with the incident.

A second woman told police that during a massage at the same Massage Envy in the summer of 2017, Grushco offered her a private in-home massage through his own business. She accepted and they arranged an appointment for July 25. She ended the massage that day when she became uncomfortable after he touched her inappropriately, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Police believe there may be more victims. Detectives have already spoken to former instructors, clients and co-workers who said they knew of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct by Grushco, police noted in a news release.

He was arrested again Monday afternoon on an additional charge of battery after the second victim came forward, according to Sarasota police.

Grushco is no longer employed by Massage Envy, according to police. The company is cooperating with the police investigation. The Florida Department of Health partnered with Sarasota police for the investigation.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Detective Kim Laster at 941-364-7327 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

To file a complaint against a health care practitioner or establishment in the State of Florida, please visit www.flhealthcomplaint.gov

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