A licensed massage therapist is accused of inappropriately touching six customers at spas in Bayport and Smithtown in the past year after police arrested him for a third time Thursday on additional charges, authorities said.
Matthew Widener, 34, of Farmingville, was charged Thursday with three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and three counts of forcible touching, Suffolk County police said in a news release.
Widener pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip and was released on a cash bail of $750 on each count, said his attorney, John Halverson of Patchogue. A temporary order of protection was issued against him, according to online court records.
Additional victims reported alleged incidents to police after Widener’s original arrest in August, when authorities urged other spa patrons to come forward.
So far, Widener has been charged in connection with five alleged sexual abuse incidents at the Karasmatic Day Spa in Bayport and one at Elements Massage in Smithtown between October 2017 and May 2018, police said.
Widener worked at the Karasmatic Day Spa, at 861 Montauk Hwy., Bayport, for about a year and was immediately fired after his employer learned of the allegations, the spa’s attorney said in August.
Police said he also worked at Elements Massage, at 42 E. Main St., Smithtown, between June 2013 through December 2017.
Halverson emphasized that no one had called police to report any problem until one woman’s complaint in August launched a police investigation. “They’re allegations at this point,” the attorney said.
Detectives ask anyone who may have been a victim of Widener to call the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552.