Sexual assault case against Omaha massage therapist still growing

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Melvin Buffington, 62, a massage therapist is now accused in 13 sexual assault cases, police say.

Omaha investigators received calls from two more alleged victims this weekend which added to the victims who started coming forward more than two weeks ago. Two of those cases against Buffington are for first degree sexual assault.

“On February 15th we received a report of another sexual assault, this time a third degree sexual assault which includes contact,” said Tracy Scherer with OPD's Special Victims Unit.

The Police Special Victims Unit Says after the first two allegations went public more victims started reporting what Melvin Buffinton allegedly did to them at Oasis Salon and Spat at 132nd and West Dodge.

During the bond hearing on the initial allegations, prosecutors detailed a January 12th incident in which a client went in for a deep tissue massage. Prosecutors allege that Buffington massaged a "private area" over clothing and then "digitally penetrated" her. She reportedly asked if that was customary and prosecutors said he replied, "no," and apologized.

On February 11, a victim told police that Buffington sexually assaulted her during a scheduled massage appointment at Oasis Massage & Spa in January. During their investigation a second incident of sexual assault was reported. The second victim told investigators she was assaulted on February 15th. She told police she was also assaulted during a massage appointment at the Oasis location on N. 132nd Street.

A victim, who wants to remain anonymous, told 6 News she couldn’t relax during her massage but kept discounting her concerns.

“I go to male doctors, this shouldn't be a big deal," she told herself. But she said she knew something was off.

“I was trying to mentally calculate how far his fingers were from my vagina,” she said.

Scherer says second guessing one’s concerns is sometimes common for victims.

“When we go for a massage, we're putting ourselves in a sensitive situation and it may be possible that some of these victims unsure what he should and shouldn't be doing,” Scherer said.

Police say Oasis Massage & Spa has cooperated with their investigation.

Anyone with any information regarding incidents similar to these is encouraged to call the Child Victim / Sexual Assault Squad at (402) 444-5636 or Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP.