Unlicensed East Palo Alto massage therapist arrested for sexual assault

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Police say a normal-looking home in East Palo Alto housed an unlicensed massage parlor and the man charged with running the illegal operation inside is accused of much more than that.

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Jose Garcia Plascencia lives on Illinois Street and police say an illegal massage business was being operated out of his converted garage.

"From what I understand, this is a common way of people going to go heal their ailments," said East Palo Alto Police Commander Jeff Liu. "Kind of like a chiropractor or acupuncturist."

In March, two women reported Plascencia had sexually assaulted them. Through their investigation, detectives found a third woman had reported the same more than five years ago.

Neighbor Opal Harper said she knew about his home business and saw clients coming and going. "They was hopping and they was taking them in," she said. "The type of people you would really be going to see a chiropractor."

She had no reason to think he was doing anything wrong. "He was a very nice person," she added. "When my husband passed, he came over and he hugged me and he cried. He says, 'I'm really going to miss Roy.'"

Sonya Wallace was also surprised to learn her neighbor had been arrested. "I don't know. It's a little creepy," she said. "Like, I mean, he seemed so nice and now I know what he's doing in there."

Plascencia was booked on one count of felony sexual assault and one count of misdemeanor sexual assault.

Police are concerned there could be other victims. They're asking anyone with any information to call them at (510) 724-8950.
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