Michael Ster, an Oakland Park, Florida massage therapist, was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of sexually assaulting one of his clients, news sources report. Ster, 32, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on two counts of sexual battery and one count of misdemeanor battery. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail bond or hired an defense attorney.
According to reports, Ster works for Massage Envy on University Drive in Coral Springs. Reports did not specify how long Ster has worked with the spa or how these charges will affect his position there. So far, Massage Envy has remained mum regarding the allegations against Ster. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine whether there may be additional victims.
The incident occurred on Monday as the victim was at the spa receiving a massage from Ster. During the massage, Ster allegedly touched the victim’s breasts, climbed up onto the massage table, fondled the victim’s groin and perform an unspecified sex act on her without her consent, reports say.
The victim attempted to shove Ster away, sources say; Ster allegedly paused for a moment before continuing the assault. Ster finally ceased when the victim shoved him away a second time, sources indicate. Reports say the victim later called police to report the assault. Ster was arrested without incident.
Sexual offenses are prevalent throughout Florida and the United States in general. According to the Florida Council against Sexual Violence, there were around 11,214 reported sexual offense cases in Florida in 2007. Out of those cases, 54% were related to forcible rape; 12% to forcible sodomy; and 32% to forcible fondling. But the numbers do not stop there: The FCASV estimates that around 1,266,000 Florida women have reported being raped at some point in their life. Many areas have begun assault awareness campaigns to try to lessen the prevalence of sexual crime.
In an entirely different sort of criminal news, Barbara Lynn Vanpatten of Spring Hill was arrested after she was accused of drunkenly overturning a canoe with a mother and two children inside during a river tour, reports say. Vanpatten, 36, was booked into the Hernando County Jail on charges of battery, resisting identification during arrest, and resisting an officer without violence. Her bail was set at $1,500. It is unclear whether she hired legal representation.
Vanpatten was on a river tour in a canoe with another woman and two children when the incident occurred. The tourists on the guide were restricted from exiting the canoe, but that did not stop Vanpatten from jumping into the water, reports say. A tour guide turned and spotted Vanpatten swimming around and called the park manager, David Hramika.
By the time Hramika arrived, Vanpatten had gotten back into her canoe. She started to rock the boat until it flipped, throwing out her fellow passengers. Hramika helped the children back into the boat and took Vanpatten onto his vessel. On the way back to the park, Vanpatten allegedly insulted Hramika and slapped him numerous times in his chest.