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Roseville massage therapist admits he groped women during sessions

ST. PAUL -- A former Roseville massage therapist pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of criminal sexual conduct involving female clients.

The guilty pleas by Brandon Lee Palmer came 15 days after a jury convicted him in a similar case.

Palmer is to be sentenced June 17 on all four cases. Three other cases will be dismissed.

The plea agreement calls for him to be placed on probation for 10 years, during which time he would be barred from being a massage therapist and must get sex-offender treatment. He also will be required to register as a predatory offender.

The judge will decide any jail time at sentencing.

Palmer, 32, of Minneapolis, admitted Wednesday in questioning by Ramsey County prosecutor Eric Leonard that he:

  • Touched the vaginal area of a woman several times during a massage in January 2012;
  • Touched the inner thighs of a woman within about an inch of her vagina during a August 2012 massage and pulled her arms toward him so that they would touch his erection through his pants;
  • Touched the vagina of a woman over a sheet and pulled her arms to touch his erection during a June 2011 massage.

He took the actions “with sexual intent,” Palmer admitted.

The incidents took place at Serene Body Therapy.

Palmer’s attorney, Jennifer Congdon, declined to comment after the hearing.

A total of 22 women complained to police about what they said was Palmer’s inappropriate touching during massages. The Ramsey County attorney’s office charged Palmer in seven of those cases. Palmer will not be charged for the other cases, in accordance with the plea agreement. If new victims come forward, however, prosecutors reserve the option to pursue those cases.

The other six women whose cases were resolved Wednesday favored the plea agreement, Leonard said.

“I really do believe this resolution honors their wishes,” said County Attorney John Choi. “Who wants to have to testify at trial about an incident like this? It’s not an easy thing for a victim to do.”

Palmer’s long probationary period will keep him out of the massage business and away from other victims, he added.

“I’m glad that people came forward, and I hope this is part of their healing process,” Choi said of the women. He encouraged others to do so, either on this case or any other.

Palmer was convicted April 29 of fourth- and fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.