DeWitt massage therapist charged with forcible touching

A local massage therapist has been accused of touching several female employees and one prospective employee inappropriately.
DeWitt (WSYR-TV) -- A DeWitt man has been accused of touching several female employees and one prospective employee inappropriately.

30-year-old Doctor Eli Guterman, a chiropractor and a licensed massage therapist at the Back N Touch Wellness Center, located at 6800 East Genesee Street in DeWitt, has been charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse.

Four women have come forward accusing Guterman of touching them inappropriately.

According to detectives, two of the victims applied for jobs at Back N Touch and the other two worked for him.

“Two of the victims are actually trained in massage therapy and felt it was giving their reputation a bad name and wanted to right a wrong,” said Detective Robert Wafer.

Documents in the case detail four victims’ encounters with Guterman. In the documents, the women say they were made to feel "uncomfortable, anxious and disgusted."

One licensed massage therapist says applying for a job required her to give Guterman a massage.

“While I was doing his back, he kept pulling the sheet down,” she said. She also said Guterman demanded that she do a very deep tissue massage, as if he wanted her to hurt him.

While it’s common practice for massage therapists to give a massage as part of a job interview, it’s not standard practice for an owner to give a massage to a prospective employee.

One of the alleged victims says Guterman told her to take her shirt off. Another therapist who came in for a job said he also gave her a massage that was “more sensual than therapeutic.”

The women claim Guterman forcibly touched intimate parts of their body.

Guterman has pleaded not guilty to three counts of misdemeanor forcible touching and one count of sex abuse. He refused comment after his arraignment in DeWitt Town Court and was released on his own recognizance.

Orders of protection have been issued for each of the victims.

Detective Wafer says there’s a possibility there may be more victims. Anyone with information on this case should contact the abused persons unit at 435-3092.

Guterman is due in court again on January 22.

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