SARASOTA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The Sarasota Police are searching for additional possible victims related to a current investigation of sexual battery that occured at a salon in Sarasota.
According to police records, the SPD are investigating an alleged case of sexual battery that occured at a salon during a massage appointment. The incident occurred at Salons by JC, located at 200 Central Avenue in Sarasota in September of 2020.
Redacted police records reveal that the victim had routinely received massages from the accused Massage Therapist, Michael Morris (53) of Sarasota over the course of two years. The properly licensed Morris had, until this incident, provided ‘strictly professional’ massages free of inappropriate touch to the victim.
On September 10, 2020 during a scheduled appointment, the victim claims Morris said ‘this would be a free birthday massage’. Partway through the massage, draped only in a towel, Morris offered the victim a “yoni” massage. Unaware of this type of massage, she agreed to the type of massage. As Morris performed the massage, Morris allegedly unzipped his pants, though the victim cannot confirm if Morris was exposed. He continued the massage which the victim described to investigators in graphic detail, lasting approximately fifteen minutes when he asked the victim to flip over and he resumed the normal massage until her appointment concluded.
Michael Morris, 53, was arrested in December 2020 on charges of sexual battery. Our detectives believe Morris had contact with multiple people as a massage therapist & have reason to believe there may be additional victims. Additional information at https://t.co/u6v4Rlg4CB pic.twitter.com/gMOVFxjE37
— Sarasota Police Department (@SarasotaPD) January 6, 2021
Confused, the victim eventually reported the inappropriate massage to the salon manager stating that she’d like to seek prosecution. Over the course a few recorded phone calls, Morris became evasive and remorseful. He was eventually Mirandized by investigators and questioned.
On December 1, 2020, officers with the SPD located and executed an arrest warrant on Michael Morris who is currently in police custody.
Since Morris’ arrest in December, Sarasota Police Department detectives have worked diligently to continue their investigation. Detectives believe Morris had contact with multiple people as a massage therapist and have reason to believe there may be additional victims. If you feel you have been victimized by Morris, you’re asked to contact the Sarasota Police Department.
CW44 News At 10 will provide further details as they become available.
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