SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Sarasota man who worked at Massage Envy is facing two battery charges following inappropriate behavior during massage sessions.
A woman told police she was battered by 44-year-old Ruslan “Russell” Grushco during a session at the Massage Envy at 1279 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.
According to police, Grushco explained to the victim that he had low vision and claimed he was legally blind. During the 90-minute massage, the victim said Grushco lifted the sheet higher than normal and placed his hands in areas she wasn’t accustomed to in massage sessions.
The victim told detectives Grushco continued to touch her inappropriately during the session. When she asked him to stop, the victim said Grushco asked her if she was sure, then continued to touch her inappropriately.
Police say at the end of the session, Grushco solicited the woman for information to become a private client.
Massage Envy is cooperating with the investigation. Grushco is no longer employed by the company because he solicited clients, which is against their policy. The company called the incident “unacceptable” in a statement to News Channel 8.
Officers say they have gathered additional statements from former instructors, clients and co-workers about inappropriate and unprofessional conduct involving Grushco.
On Monday, Grushco was arrested again after another woman claimed he inappropriately touched her inside his apartment during a private massage session.
They met during a massage at his former workplace.
“Oh my God, I didn’t know that. Gee whiz, that’s terrible,” said Grushco’s next door neighbor Mellie, who didn’t give her last name.
The Florida Department of Health is working with Sarasota police on this case.
8 On Your Side reached out to the department about Grushco’s massage license. A spokesman said, according to the department’s license verification site, Grushco holds a clear and active license with no public complaints or discipline.
“We do know that this man has done this already twice. And we do believe that he’s possibly done it again,” police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge said.
Anyone with information to contact Detective Kim Laster at (941) 364-7327. Victims can also leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.
Late last year, Massage Envy was in the news when multiple people came forward alleging sexual misconduct and mishandling of customer claims.