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Former Boulder massage therapist accused of sexually assaulting, groping clients

Matthew Mandel (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

A former massage therapist has been arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting and groping multiple clients.

Matthew Neil Mandel, 40, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and two counts of unlawful sexual contact. He is set for a formal filing of charges on Tuesday.

According to an arrest affidavit, a woman told Boulder police she went to Massage Specialists in Boulder in April 2019 and was given an appointment with Mandel.

The woman said that she was resting face down on a massage table in her underwear and under a sheet. The woman told police Mandel at one point used intense pressure and did not ease up when the woman told him it was painful.

According to the affidavit, the woman said Mandel began to move her underwear and grope her. He then made her flip over and groped her again.

The woman said she did not discuss him touching her because she was “frightened,” but said she was crying for most of the time.

The woman did not initially report the case to law enforcement, but eventually she learned Mandel had other complaints filed against him for similar behavior and she went to police. After the case was reported, detectives found another case in which another woman made similar allegations about Mandel for an incident while he was working at Colorado Athletic Club in Boulder.

In that case, a woman said Mandel also moved her underwear and groped her in September 2019, but also performed oral sex on her even after he told him to stop.

According to the affidavit, the woman reported the incident to the club, and managers said Mandel accused the woman of asking him to touch her breasts. But rather than typing out a statement, Mandel said he was moving out of state.

He was suspended the day the incident was reported to Colorado Athletic Club, and resigned the next day.

According to the affidavit, Mandel also was accused in a July 2019 incident that was reported to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. It that incident, the woman made accusations of “inappropriate sexual behavior by Mandel in the treatment room during and after massages” at Bodywork for Liberation/Inner Ocean Center for Healing, which was in Louisville at the time. That woman did not choose to pursue a criminal case.

Mandel’s massage therapy license was revoked on Jan. 27 by the state after he declined to respond to any of the allegations and the state “found that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively required emergency action and/or respondent deliberately and willfully violated the Colorado Massage Therapy Practice Act,” according to the affidavit.

Massage Specialists issued a statement on the matter Monday, saying, “Due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment on Mr. Mandel other than the fact that his contract was terminated with in 2019, and he lost his massage therapy license while working for another employer after his termination from our company. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement in this ongoing investigation.”

Colorado Athletic Club and Bodywork for Liberation, which is now in Lafayette, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Mandel has no previous arrests in Colorado, according to online court records. He was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

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