Columbia Massage Shop Owner Charged with Sexual Abuse
COLUMBIA - The Columbia massage shop owner accused of fondling his clients pleaded not guilty in Boone County court Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors charged 51-year-old Jack Dillender Wednesday with two separate counts of sexual abuse.
Columbia Police said Dillender, who owns "The Way of Massage" on Business Loop 70 West, touched a 33-year-old and a 21-year-old victim in their breast and genital areas without their consent. The female victims were clients of Dillender's. Police said the incidents happened on two separate occasions - the first in September 2013 and the second on April 7, 2014.
One of Dillender's alleged victims said she booked an appointment at The Way of Massage on April 7 to celebrate her birthday. She said during the course of the session, the store's owner, who is also her masseuse, Dillender touched her inappropriately. She said it was during this time Dillender fondled her beneath her underwear for an "elongated" amount of time.
Dillender disputed the accusations when they first came to light May 2, but would not comment further to KOMU 8 News then or after court Thursday.
Dillender's trial is set for July 9.
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated with additional information about Dillender's Thursday court appearance.]