An East Palo Alto man operating an unregulated massage business out of a shed in his backyard was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison after sexually molesting at least 10 women.
Bernardino Rosas Valle, 67, pleaded no contest on Jan. 11 to charges of digital penetration, fondling and sexual battery, according to San Mateo County prosecutors.
He reached a plea deal, agreeing to 13 years in state prison, said his attorney, Michael Armstrong. Judge Elizabeth Lee also ordered Valle to pay $13,200 to one of his victims and $6,753 to the state's Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
Police arrested Valle in 2014 after a woman reported he had fondled her breast and attempted to touch her genitals while she was receiving a massage from him, prosecutors said.
Valle had claimed that his massages could treat anything from minor aches and pains to fertility problems, according to police, and that he had been operating for the last 30 years.
Police publicized the information about the incident through the local media, including Spanish-speaking television stations and news outlets, after which an additional 21 people came forward who alleged they were also victims, prosecutors said.
Ten of those victims had been assaulted within the statute of limitations, prosecutors said.