MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami Beach massage therapist is facing some serious charges after, police said, at least four women accused him of engaging in unwanted sexual acts.
Fifty-year-old Elias Marcelo Ergas appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Renatha S. Francis in handcuffs, Thursday afternoon.
“This man is facing already one felony charge, two misdemeanor charges and there’s a potential for additional charges,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
According to Miami Beach Police, the alarming allegations date back to April at his massage business, located inside a building along the 1400 block of 20th Street.
Investigators said three of the victims came forward after they received lymph node therapy massages by Ergas. During each of those massages, police said, the suspect went too far.
“Two of the three victims state, while they were receiving a massage, the subject inappropriately touched them in their private areas,” said Rodriguez. “The third victim stated that the subject went a little bit further, and he actually sexually assaulted the victim while she was receiving her massage therapy.”
In bond court, Ergas described himself as a longtime professional.
“Very busy in my office where I worked for seven years. I’m very well-known,” he said.
Thursday afternoon, police said, a fourth victim came forward and said Ergas sexually assaulted her during a massage in April.
Detectives said after each attack, the victims got dressed, rushed out and later told police.
But despite four women claiming Ergas crossed the line, one of his clients of six years said the accusations against him are outrageous.
“He comes to my home nearly twice a week. He massages me, my family, my daughter, me, some girlfriends here in Miami,” said the client. “Nothing has ever happened. He’s shy, even.”
Officers arrested Ergas at his office. Investigators are urging any other possible victims to contact them immediately.
“If you recognize this man, if you’ve received services from this man, and you feel that you’ve been victimized, please contact Miami Beach Police,” said Rodriguez.
As of late Thursday night, Ergas remained in jail.
If you believe you were a victim of Ergas or have any information that could help police, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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