FRANKLIN, Ind.-- Johnson County authorities are praising three women for their decision to come forward with accusations against a massage therapist who used to work in downtown Franklin.
Franklin Police arrested 24-year-old Ryan Farmer at his Franklin home on July 4. The arrest came after three women told police that Farmer had touched and groped them inappropriately during massage sessions at CMG Family Wellness Center, in downtown Franklin.
Documents filed in Johnson County say an 18-year-old woman came to the Franklin Police Department on March 24. She told police that Farmer had given her a massage the day before. She said everything seemed normal until the end of the massage, when she says Farmer lowered her cover sheet to reveal her chest area.
“Ryan removed the sheet from her upper body but left her lower body covered,” court documents said. “Ryan continued to grope, fondle, and massage her breasts with his hands, skin on skin.”
At first, the young woman wasn’t sure if Farmer’s actions were inappropriate. But, according to court documents, she knew something was wrong when Farmer told her “This stays between you and I.”
Franklin police called Farmer in for an interview, in which Farmer denied the allegations, court documents said.
Two months later, two more women reported to Franklin Police nearly identical circumstances. The women came to police separately and said Farmer had groped and fondled their breasts during massages in mid-May. Franklin Police asked all three women if they knew one another, and they said they did not.
After the third alleged victim reported the massage incident, Franklin Police tried questioning Farmer again, but he said he wanted to hire an attorney before answering questions.
“Clearly in a case where there are multiple victims, if the descriptions are similar, that will obviously lead to a different type of investigation,” said Johnson County Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Bland. “It gives the officer something more to go on.”
Franklin police were granted a warrant and arrested Farmer at his Franklin home on July 4. The Johnson County Prosecutor filed three counts of misdemeanor battery.
Authorities say Farmer was the only employee at CMG Family Wellness Center who was accused in the case. They say the owners of CMG Family Wellness Center cooperated with their investigation.
The owners said they fired Farmer after first learning of the allegations in May.
Bland praised the victims for their decision to report the incidents to police, and credited them with helping with the investigation.
“Whenever you’re approached by somebody that you’re putting your trust in, it’s not enough to simply blindly trust them. If you ever believe as an individual that something isn’t right, you need to trust your gut. And you need to act on that.”
According to the Indiana Licensing Board, Farmer received his Massage Therapist license in 2014 and the license was still active as of this week.