CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4) — A massage therapist is facing a felony charge after allegedly assaulting multiple patients.
Tyler Trost Braun, 42, was arrested on the offense of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.
The Cedar City Police Department said multiple female victims have come forward, reporting Braun sexually assaulted them while they were clients at the Cedar City Massage Parlor, according to CCPD.
These women reportedly told police that they went to Braun for a massage, as he was a licensed massage therapist at this facility. One of these women reported that during her massage, Braun touched her inappropriately in several areas. She told police she was “very scared” during the massage, saying she froze and was unable to prevent him from continuing with the assault, according to CCPD.
She reportedly agreed to talk to Braun in a pretext phone call, during which she asked him why he touched her how he did. He reportedly stated, after a long pause, that he does not know why he turned it into a “sensual massage.” She asked him if he thought that she wanted a sensual massage, and he said that she did not ask for this to happen, that he guessed she wanted it, and that he was sorry, according to CCPD.
She reportedly asked him later in the phone call why he touched her, and he said “I guess I’m delusional, I thinks that’s probably why it happened,” according to CCPD.
She reportedly told him that it was a “sexual touch” and that it did not feel like it was a mistake. Police said he responded, saying “Uh yeah, yeah, there’s no denying it as anything but a sexual act and it’s not like you touch there and it’s non-sexual. Once you touch there it’s sexual.”
He later stated, according to police, “It’s really hard to smell someone to be that close to them and like I said it’s like drifting in and out of consciousness sometimes giving a massage there’s chemistry in the room.”
The victim reportedly asked him if touching women’s vaginas during the massage was something that he started with her or with other women, and he stated that he did not start with her. Police said he talked about touching other women in a sexual manner in Vermont as well, when he worked as a massage therapist there.
He reportedly ended the phone conversation by reading an entry to her that he wrote in his personal journal, where he stated that he had a phone call with a former client who thought that he was inappropriate with his touch in the massage. He also read from the entry that this should not have happened and that his behavior should never cause women to sense fear with him, according to CCPD.
He reportedly also wondered in this entry how many other women no longer feel safe with him. He stated that women should feel safe enough to make relieving noises without them being taken to mean “like an advance even though it feels good to be close to them,” according to CCPD.
Police said after he read this journal entry he stated to the victim that it was an honor to talk with her on the phone and told her “I’m at your mercy.”
Braun was later interviewed by the Cedar City Police Department and told them his journals are located in his home.
Braun was booked into the Iron County Jail on the aforementioned charge.