While it is normally quite safe to take advantage of the services of a licensed massage therapist, there are those who would pretend to be licensed and trained when they are, in fact, not. This seems to be the case with a 40-year-old man from Vallejo who was masquerading as a massage therapist in San Francisco. Specifically, he has been charged with using his position as a fake massage therapist to sexually abuse several of his elderly clients. He was arrested on suspicion of several different felonies, including assault of an elder, allowing the abuse of an elder, sexual battery, and giving massages without a permit for monetary compensation.
California law takes the abuse of elderly persons quite seriously. The man above was charged with elder abuse to occur (CA Penal Code 368(c)), which amounts to permitting physical or mental pain to be inflicted upon an elder or otherwise dependent adult person. Usually, the circumstances must be such that neither great bodily harm or death will occur, but that the elder will suffer. This particular charge is normally treated as a misdemeanor. However, if great bodily injury or death was possible, the charge would have been under sections 1, 2, and 3 of the same portion of the law and could end in up to 5 years in prison, depending upon the age of the elder in question. If the elder is over the age of 70, then 3 years in state prison is the maximum sentence, along with a $6,000 fine. However, if the elder is over the age of 70, penalties rise to 5 years and a hefty fine.