Unlicensed East Palo Alto masseuse to stand trial on sexual assault charges

- An East Palo Alto man accused of sexually assaulting women while running an unlicensed massage business out of his garage was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on multiple felony charges, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Jose Plascencia, 56, allegedly ran the business for years out of a converted garage in the 2400 block of Illinois Street, claiming it was a traditional Mexican "sobandero," according to the district attorney's office.

He was arrested in April 2017 after East Palo Alto police said three victims came forward.

Many more came forward to report cases dating back to 2011 in which Plascencia allegedly improperly touched their genital areas or engaged with them in a sexual manner during massages, prosecutors said.

After a three-day preliminary hearing, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Steven Dylina ordered Plascencia to stand trial on 36 counts of sexual assault and other offenses.

He will return to court on April 5 and remains out of custody on $600,000 bail on the condition that he not engage in any massage or chiropractic practices.

His attorney Douglas Horngrad was not immediately available for comment on the case, but previously said that "the allegations are overblown and exaggerated" and that "Mr. Plascencia will be vindicated."

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