VENICE MASSAGE THERAPIST ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF DISABLED WOMAN
In early November 2020, Sarasota Police arrested massage therapist, Mark Douglas Elliott, 64, of the 400 block of Appian Way in Venice, for allegedly committing sexual battery on a disabled patient. According to records, Elliott, a licensed massage therapist since December 2011, was hired in April 2020 to treat the physically incapacitated woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury.
According to court records, her injury requires she receive 24-hour nursing care and outpatient therapies, including massage therapy. She is entirely dependent on others to move as a result of paralysis down the right side of her body. She also suffers from cognitive delays and short-term memory loss.
The victim told police that Elliott repeatedly sexually battered her from January to May 2020 during scheduled visits. He reportedly asked her to not tell her mother, his wife, or other nurses about the abuse. Due to her memory loss, she couldn’t remember exact details of past incidents, but was able to remember the last one.
Letters from the victim’s psychologist state she has “severe physical and cognitive limitations” and “is completely dependent on her mother and staff for all daily wants and needs.”
The psychologist further explained to police that she has the emotional and cognitive abilities of a young teen. She requires around the clock care to keep her healthy and safe. Police said Elliott knew about her inability to consent to sexual activity, and took advantage of her diminished cognitive and physical state.
When clients book a massage, it is usually to decompress from the stresses of life, or as in this case, to round out a medical treatment program. They trust that the licensed massage therapist hired is safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any therapist to touch a client in a sexual manner.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched during a massage. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.