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2 Charged in Attacks on Massage Therapists

September 12, 1996|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN

Two men were in custody and a third was being sought by police Wednesday in connection with a series of crimes against San Fernando Valley massage therapists.

Police said Christopher Dixon, 29, and Thomas Nelson, 21, found victims by calling newspaper advertisements for massage services, then posed as clients to gain entry into private homes. Once inside, one man would open the door for one or two accomplices, said Los Angeles Police Det. Gregory Stone. Armed with semiautomatic weapons, they would "menace, threaten, rob and on occasion sexually assault a female occupant," he said.

So far, 10 women have reported such attacks to police. But authorities believe there may be as many as 50 victims, including some men, who have been reluctant to come forward, Stone said.

Dixon has been charged with 13 felony counts, including sexual assault and robbery, Stone said. Nelson faces charges on two counts, one each for sexual assault and robbery, Stone said.

Police asked that any other victims call (213) 485-2921 or (213) 485-2504.

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