Backyard massage ‘business’ leads to sex charges

A 66-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to a laundry list of sexual charges stemming from an unregulated, low-cost massage business for women he was reportedly operating out of a backyard shed in East Palo Alto.

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Police said Bernadino Rosas Valle told his victims that he had 30 years of experience and his massages could treat a variety of ailments from minor aches and pains to fertility issues. Valle stands accused of 10 counts of sexual battery, three counts of sexual penetration on an unconscious victim, and one count of false imprisonment by force or violence.

Prosecutors said one victim came forward after Valle fondled her breasts and tried to touch her genitals before she exited the shed. After police arrested Valle on Sept. 3 and issued a statement, 21 other victims reportedly came forward.

However only ten of them were assaulted within the statute of limitations, prosecutors said. Valle’s preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, he’s still in custody on $300,000 bail.