Peninsula massage therapist pleads no contest in groping case 

A massage therapist accused of sexually assaulting a customer at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center earlier this year faces up to a year in County Jail after accepting a plea bargain Tuesday.

Victor James Petush, 27, of Foster City, pleaded no contest to felony sexual battery on the condition that he receives no state prison time for the Feb. 10 assault, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Wednesday.

Petush, who is out of custody after posting the $100,000 bail, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 30.

The assault occurred Feb. 10, prosecutors said, when Petush began a massage session with a female customer by remarking several times about how she had a great body.

He then massaged the woman's groin and genital area, digitally penetrated her, and used her hand to masturbate him, Wagstaffe said.

The woman was "extremely scared and repeatedly said stop, but the suspect persisted," the district attorney said.

The woman reportedly called friends and police right after the incident.

Petush claimed the sexual contact was consensual. After the charges were filed, however, other clients came forward with allegations against Petush, Wagstaffe said. Those allegations cannot be prosecuted because they are beyond the statute of limitations, he said.

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