A 31-year-old massage therapist has been charged with molesting a client at an Edina studio this past summer.
Corbin M. Braunheim, of St. Paul, was charged Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with a July 24 session with a woman at the Elements Therapeutic Massage franchise in the Yorktown shopping plaza.
The studio’s owner said Braunheim was indefinitely suspended in November upon learning of the allegations, and his job status has not changed.
Braunheim was charged by summons and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Jan. 6. Messages were left with him seeking a response to the allegations. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
The woman reported to police that she was referred to Braunheim for a massage. She made the appointment “to relieve the stress [she] was experiencing of the passing of a close family member,” the complaint read.
She said Braunheim penetrated her three times with his hand over the course of the session, according to the complaint. She left without saying anything, then returned to retrieve an undergarment.
The woman said Braunheim handed her the clothing and said something to the effect of “this is embarrassing,” the complaint read.
The Edina studio’s owner, Julie Thompson, said in a statement Thursday afternoon, “In November, when local law enforcement reached out to me about this incident, I fully cooperated with their investigation, and immediately and indefinitely suspended the massage therapist.
“I take the safety of our clients seriously and screen all potential employees with a third-party criminal background check, reference checks with previous employers and verification of appropriate training at a credentialed massage therapy school before hiring. These steps were all taken in this hiring process.”
Elements’ corporate headquarters are in the Denver area. Elements’ studios are owned and operated by franchisees. There are nearly 250 locations in more than 30 states and British Columbia.