CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – A licensed massage therapist, who has been practicing in the St. Marys area for years, was arrested this week after a woman told detectives she was inappropriately touched during a massage, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office said.
Christopher White is charged with sexual battery.
Investigators said they began investigating White on Jan. 13. During an interview with the victim, according to the Sheriff’s Office, she told investigators that White touched her inappropriately while she was receiving a massage from him.
White was booked Wednesday into the Camden County jail, where he remained as of Thursday afternoon, according to online jail records.
Deputies said he works for GTO Health and Wellness Spa. The business is based out of a realty building on Charlie Smith Sr. Highway. An unaffiliated business, which also rents office space inside the building, told News4Jax that White is the owner and only employee of GTO Health and Wellness Spa, and that he moved into the building in the fall. On Thursday, when News4Jax called the number listed for the spa on Facebook, it rang once and then went to voicemail.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson investigated these types of cases as a former sex crimes detective.
“When you’re receiving a massage, you know the areas that are supposed to be touched,” Jefferson said.
Massage establishments do not have a legal obligation to report sexual assault claims made on their premises. There is no state or federal level that requires state licensing boards to suspend or rescind a massage therapist’s license after sexual assault allegations.
Jefferson said patrons may be embarrassed or ashamed to report inappropriate behavior.
“It could be easy to take advantage of people this way because they’re going there for a specific purpose and sometimes a therapist who has crossed that line will try something just to see what the reaction will be from the victim," Jefferson said.
He added that a good tip to follow when booking a massage appointment is to look up the massage therapist’s license number and that of the massage spa to see whether there has been any disciplinary action taken against them.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have additional information about White to contact the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section at 912-510-5172 or the Sheriff’s Office 912-510-5100.