Local massage therapist arrested again on suspicion of rape

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A massage therapist was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of rape after having been previously arrested on a separate sexual assault allegation in 2018.  

Jorge Panama, 56, of Hawthorne, was arrested on Wednesday after another alleged victim reported being sexually assaulted by the man in April 2021 at “Massage Plus Healing” on the 22000 block of Lyons Avenue.  

“The victim told detectives that while receiving a massage at the location, the massage therapist, Jorge Panama, age 56, sexually assaulted her,” according to a statement sent out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  

Three years ago, Panama was arrested in October 2018, shortly after a call was made to the SCV Sheriff’s station to the “Stretch Therapeutic Healing Spa,” and was located at the same address in Santa Clarita as “Massage Plus Healing.”  

“At approximately 4 p.m., the victim, a female adult, was receiving a massage from the suspect at Stretch Therapeutic Healing,” said Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Special Victims Bureau at the time of the 2018 incident. “The victim told deputies that during the massage, the suspect sexually assaulted her.” 

After deputies carried out an on-scene investigation, they arrested the suspect, who was still at the location on Lyons Avenue, between Arcadia Street and Newhall Avenue. 

In the 2018 incident, charges were not filed by L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office due to insufficient evidence, according to detectives.  

Special Victims Bureau Detectives believe there may be additional victims in this case.  Detectives are seeking information regarding any sexual assault that may have occurred during a massage session with the suspect at the location operating under the business names of; “Massage Plus Healing” and “Stretch Therapeutic Healing” in the city of Santa Clarita. 

The California Penal Code describes the offence for which the suspect is now accused as: “Any person who commits an act of sexual penetration when the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six or eight years.” 

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau.  

Bail for the suspect has been set at $100,000. 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Special Victims Bureau is tasked with investigating the sexual and physical abuse of children and felonious sexual assaults involving adult victims.  Anyone with information about this incident is can contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau toll free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at [email protected].   

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP or “P3 Mobile” for the hearing impaired on Google play or the App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org. 

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