Ventura County – When one seeks the rejuvenating benefits of a professional massage, one expects a modicum of hands-on professional attention to those body parts wracked by the tension and stress of every day life, as well as athletic strain. What one does not expect is an attempt on the part of the therapist to engage in sexual contact, if only because such contact is strictly prohibited by the California Criminal Code.
That prohibition was surely known to Gary Sperling, a 67-year old resident of Woodland Hills and licensed masseur, contracted by the Thousand Oaks franchise of Massage Envy to administer his healing touch to its patrons. According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Robert Fleming, however, Sperling allegedly disregarded the law on the afternoon of April 4th when he “sexually assaulted” a 25-year old woman while administering a massage to her.
The mentally disabled woman, described by Fleming as “an incompetent person” was allegedly the victim of sodomy performed by Sperling, who has no prior arrest record and is reported to have worked as a professional massage therapist at various Massage Envy locations for nearly a decade. For their part, representatives of the company affirmed a “zero tolerance policy on inappropriate conduct.”
Pursuant to an investigation and interview conducted with Sperling on April 8th, he was arrested by Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deputies on charges of sodomy of an incompetent person and lewd acts on a dependent adult. He was transported to Ventura County Jail and booked on $100,000 bail.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking