DC massage therapist charged with trying to assault 2nd woman

WASHINGTON — A second woman has come forward and accused a former massage therapist of trying to sexually assault her during a session in D.C.

Habtamu Gebreslassie, 24, of Silver Spring, was charged Wednesday with attempted second-degree sexual assault after a woman came forward about an incident that allegedly happened in late August.

On Sunday, he was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a patient or client and second-degree sexual abuse. In both cases, the incidents happened at Massage Envy, in the 4900 block of Wisconsin Avenue, in Northwest.

Court documents say that the second woman came forward after seeing a news report that included a picture of Gebreslassie and recognizing him as the man who tried to perform a sex act on her during a massage session Aug. 28.

The documents said that when the woman took off a mask Gebreslassie had put over her eyes during the massage session and saw what he was doing, he sank to his knees, apologized and said “I’ve never done this before. I don’t know what got into me.” She left the room, saw no manager was present and left the building, the documents said.

The woman spoke with management about Gebreslassie Sept. 5, the documents said. She’d had a massage with Gebreslassie earlier in August that had gone without a problem.

In both cases, court documents say the women were incapable of appraising what Gebreslassie was doing.

Gebreslassie no longer works at Massage Envy, the establishment said in a statement on Sunday.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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