CLERMONT, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Clermont Police Department is investigating several claims of inappropriate and unwanted touching by a massage therapist at the Hand and Stone Massage, located at 2301 S U.S. Hwy 27. Investigators say the earliest reported case dates back to February of 2015.
The suspect, 25-year-old Cesar Guerrero, previously worked at a massage parlor located in Winter Garden, and according to authorities, was recently arrested on charges of sexual battery by the Winter Garden Police Department. That arrest prompted additional victims to come forward in Clermont, police say.
FOX 35 reached out to Hand and Stone Massage for comment. They responded with the following statement:
"We have only recently been made aware of the news story regarding the arrest of massage therapist, Cesar Guerrero. Mr. Guerrero had formerly worked at the Clermont Hand & Stone franchise however the incident resulting in his arrest took place after his employment with the company. The Clermont location did not receive any complaint about Mr. Guerrero's conduct while he was employed there.
"As is policy with all Hand & Stone Massage Therapists, prior to his employment, Mr. Guerrero passed a background check completed by the local franchisee. He was also given and completed specific Code of Ethics training.
"In addition to separate Hand & Stone background checks and training, Mr. Guerrero was licensed by the state which also performed a level two background check as a requirement for massage licensing - Mr. Guerrero's license was current at the time of hiring with no indication of discipline action or public complaints and his license remains current as of this year.
"The local franchisee is fully cooperating with local authorities on the matter. Hand & Stone provides a safe, clean and luxurious environment for our customers to enjoy massage and facial services nationwide. We maintain a zero tolerance policy in our system for any inappropriate conduct by our professional staff and will continue to fully cooperate with authorities and ensure our strict hiring standards continue to be met."
The massage parlor in Winter Garden, where Guerroro previously worked is a franchise of Massage Envy, which issued the following statement to FOX 35:
"Massage Envy and its franchisees take every allegation of inappropriate conduct very seriously. We strictly enforce our Code of Conduct and Zero Tolerance Policy and impose serious consequences for those who violate them to ensure our guests have a safe and professional experience when they visit our franchises. The therapist at issue is no longer employed by the franchisee."
The Clermont Police are looking for your help in locating or identifying any additional victims. Anyone with additional information in this case is asked to call 352-394-5588.