Unlicensed East Palo Alto masseuse pleads not guilty to sexual assault

(East Palo Alto Police Department)

EAST PALO ALTO (BCN) — An East Palo Alto man who was allegedly running an unlicensed massage business out of his garage pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple sexual assault and battery charges, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Jose Plascencia, 55, ran the business out of the converted garage in the 2400 block of Illinois Street for years, claiming to be a traditional Mexican sobandero, according to the district attorney’s office.

Plascencia was arrested in April after East Palo Alto police said three victims came forward.

Prosecutors said 15 women in all have eventually come forward to report that in cases dating back to 2011, Plascencia improperly touched their genital areas or engaged with them in a sexual manner during massages.

He pleaded not guilty Monday to various sexual assault and battery charges and will return to court on Aug. 31 for a preliminary hearing.

His defense attorney Douglas Horngrad said, “The allegations are overblown and exaggerated. Mr. Plascencia will be vindicated.”

Plascencia remains out of custody on $450,000 bail on the condition that he not engage in any massage-related duties, prosecutors said.

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