A massage therapist pleaded guilty Friday to sexually assaulting three of his clients while performing massages in Seal Beach. During the investigation, he continued to provide massages in Mission Viejo.
Jason Michael Elliott, 29, of Sunset Beach, pleaded guilty to one felony count of sexual battery and two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, according to Deputy District Attorney Vanessa Woods. He was immediately sentenced to a year in jail.
Elliott also will be put on three years of formal probation, will have to register as a sex offender and is barred from contacting the victims, Woods said. Elliott went into custody today, she added.
Three felony counts of assault with intent to commit a sex offense were dismissed, according to court records. From Aug. 4, 2009, to April 29, 2010, Elliott worked as a masseur at a Seal Beach Massage Envy location at 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., where he sexually assaulted the three women, according to prosecutors.
Elliott assaulted a 30-year-old woman at the business for a spa treatment on Sept. 30, 2009; a 33-year-old woman who came in for a massage Nov.8, 2009; and a 21-year-old woman who paid for a massage April 29, 2010, according to prosecutors.
The 33-year-old woman called Seal Beach police the same day, prosecutors said. As detectives investigated, they found two more victims. Elliott was fired when his bosses found about the allegations.
But despite the investigation, Elliott continued to work as a masseur in Mission Viejo and other parts of Orange County. As of July of last year, Elliott was no longer certified as a massage therapist by the California Massage Therapy Council, according to prosecutors.
Elliott isn’t Orange County’s only Massage Envy masseuse to be accused of sexual assault in the last year. Earlier, two women accused Mark Pergil Valenzon, a masseuse at the Laguna Beach location, of masturbating and pressing up against them during a massage. The women in that case are also suing the salon, alleging the company covered up "knowledge that Valenzon was a threat to his female clients."
Massage Envy has also been named in other lawsuits involving rape and sexual assault in Tustin, Maryland, Texas, Utah and Kansas City.
— City News Service Contributed to this report.