WESTLAKE, Ohio (WJW) — A former massage therapist at a Westlake spa is charged with rape, accused of sexually assaulting a woman during her appointment on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Kyle A. Carthens, 32, of Cleveland Heights, had started working as a massage therapist at Spa West, 29109 Center Ridge Road, two weeks prior, according to a news release from Westlake police Capt. Gerald Vogel. He’s since been fired.
About an hour after the alleged incident, the woman went to the Westlake Police Department. She told officers she came to the spa for a deep tissue massage, to relieve pain from a prior car accident.
The victim told police she had been to the spa before, but told police when she showed up for her appointment on Saturday, things did not seem right.
“She noticed things that were different from the last time she experienced a massage,” Vogel said. “The room was darker. The towel was moved in different ways throughout the experience.”
She said Carthens touched her inappropriately and sexually assaulted her.
“[The victim] flinched and he stopped. [She] advised she was afraid to say anything to him due to her current physical health that he could easily hurt her,” reads an officer’s report. “The only thing the male said while massaging her was to ‘breathe.'”
The woman immediately left the police station for a sexual assault medical forensic examination at a nearby hospital, according to the report. Evidence from that exam was later turned over to police.
Detectives on Tuesday, Oct. 17, followed Carthens as he took a rideshare to work, then stopped the car and arrested him. They took him to the police station where he was interviewed.
The spa released a statement to FOX 8 News on Thursday:
Sadly, we were made aware of the recent charges brought against a former employee. The accused was hired less than a week ago. He did not disclose his previous employment to verify any information, and was then fired immediately once we were made aware of this incident. The mission of Spa West is to put the safety and well-being of our clients first, and we have been cooperating with Westlake Police and will continue to do so.Statement from Spa West
Carthens waived his preliminary hearing in Rocky River Municipal Court. A judge has issued a criminal protection order.
He remains in jail on a $100,000 bond. His case is now pending before a Cuyahoga County grand jury.
Police said Spa West is a reputable business and that there have never been any similar complaints from there before.
They said Carthens is believed to have worked at another spa in Beachwood and offered in-home services through the “Soothe” app. They now want to hear from others who may have been victimized.
“We figure it’s not the first time that this has occurred,” said Vogel. “Usually we don’t catch somebody on the very first time something happens. Maybe somebody is too embarrassed to talk about it. Maybe they are even doubting themselves about what happened during a massage. Maybe it was their first massage and they don’t know what to expect.”
Anyone with information on the case is urged to call detectives at 440-871-3311.