Valley massage therapist arrested after client accuses him of sexual assault

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - A local massage therapist has been arrested after a client of his claims he touched her inappropriately and sexually assaulted her. She met him while he was working at Arizona's Choice Chiropractic and continued going to him when he started doing massages out of his home.

The client claims the incident happened in March. Anthony Pagliaro was just arrested on Thursday. Court paperwork shows the victim told police she was fearful for her life because the suspect is much bigger than her an no one was in the home at the time.

"In this case, Mr. Pagliaro was in the state's view in a position of trust," said an attorney in court. "He is a professional massage therapist - a masseuse. He has a client, which is the same as a dentist having a patient or doctor or whatever. He took advantage of that situation."

The massage happened at Pagliaro's home in Peoria. According to the police report, the woman said the assault happened toward the end of her massage. She said she was naked and on her back when Pagliaro removed the sheet from her right thigh and began touching her inappropriately. She said he did this several times.

During the assault, the victim continued to say what he was doing was nonconsensual and she wasn't there to have sex. The victim said she had to use the bathroom so she got up and got dressed. After talking with Pagliaro, he told her it wouldn't happen again and he wasn't sure he should have done that. He then blamed it on "male stupidity."

"I was under the impression that it was consensual," said Pagliaro in court.

We spoke with Arizona's Choice Chiropractic and they confirmed Pagliaro worked there for about a year-and-a-half and he worked there before this happened. The manager told us they never had any issues with him and he was fully licensed by the state and had passed a background check. Pagliaro is due back in court May 9.