Lawsuit accuses unlicensed massage therapist in Ft. Sam of sexually assaulting two military women on the same day


SAN ANTONIO – When LeDerick McDaniel was accused of sexually assaulting two servicewomen stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in June 2018, he had already been on the radar of state licensing investigators for nearly five months.

McDaniel, at the time of the alleged assaults, worked as a massage therapist for a civilian-run business called The Spa at Fort Sam, inside the historic Fort Sam police station building.

Just a month earlier, in May 2018, McDaniel had admitted to a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation investigator that he was performing unlicensed massage therapy services.

His ability to continue working as a massage therapist and being hired into a heavily guarded military post raised questions about the vetting process for civilian-run businesses at Fort Sam Houston.

WARNING: THE CONTENT BELOW INCLUDES GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

In a 2020 civil lawsuit filed against McDaniel, the spa and spa owner—Horace “Trey” Wilkins—by a woman identified as “Jane Doe,” she said she arrived for a scheduled massage around 10 a.m. on June 10, 2018. .

McDaniel pulled down the woman’s panties, an active duty member of the U.S. military, during the massage, according to allegations in Justice Department records obtained by KSAT Investigates.

McDaniel then rubbed his genitals and inserted his finger there, before licking his private area, records show.

The woman, who later told FBI investigators she “froze” during the encounter, whispered to McDaniel to “please stop” but didn’t believe McDaniel heard her, according to DOJ records.

The historic JBSA-Ft. Sam Houston. (KSAT)

McDaniel, according to the records, later told the woman “she should get his phone number because he felt like he was leaving her hanging.”

After paying for the massage and leaving the facility, the woman reported the incident to her supervisor on duty.

The woman later underwent a sexual assault examination at a San Antonio-area hospital nine hours after the alleged incident, records show.

The FBI assumed full responsibility for investigating the case on June 11, 2018.

McDaniel, interviewed by the FBI that day, denied the allegations and told an agent “he had nothing to hide,” DOJ records show.

June 12, 2018, text messages between McDaniel and Wilkins, the spa owner, McDaniel tried to pin the blame on Jane Doe, writing that “she actually tried to kiss me and put my hand on her genitals “.

McDaniel and Wilkins discussed the first sexual assault allegation via text message. (KSAT)

“I screwed up”, “I tried to blow it up”, “Didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, just wanted to forget about it,” McDaniel wrote in separate text messages, when Wilkins told him wondered why he hadn’t immediately informed his boss of the incident.

Wilkins, who did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment on the story, fired McDaniel days later, according to DOJ records.

A friend of Jane Doe, who accompanied her to the spa for a manicure, told investigators that Jane Doe came out of the massage room looking disheveled and upset.

An analysis of Jane Doe’s sexual assault exam released by the state crime lab in December 2018 revealed the presence of male DNA on her left buttocks and anus. However, no further testing was done to see if the DNA matched McDaniel.

In early February 2019, about eight months after the incident, the US Attorney’s office dismissed the case for prosecution.

“While the touching is most inappropriate, it is not a prosecutable federal offense,” the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case wrote.

She noted that although the woman had whispered that she wanted it to stop, the alleged victim thought McDaniel hadn’t heard her.

“It is essential that the defendant knew the touching was unauthorized and proceeded anyway. Second, to prove a sexual act or sexual touching, the act must have been committed with intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or satisfy a person’s sexual desire. There is no evidence as to why this touching took place,” wrote the lawyer.

Officials from the San Antonio office of the FBI and DOJ declined to comment for this story.

The second accuser comes

A second female service member, identified in Bexar County court records as “Jane Doe 2,” accused McDaniel of sexually assaulting her during an afternoon massage session on the same day as the first Jane Doe.

In the second incident, McDaniel is accused of rubbing the woman’s inner thighs and genitals without warning, according to a complaint filed in early 2021.

“Terrified, the plaintiff stopped the massage. McDaniel then asked if he could ‘finish it,'” according to the lawsuit.

Although Jane Doe 2 reported the alleged sexual assault to both the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command and the United States Army JAG Corps Special Victim Counsel, she did so under “restricted” status, which means that no subsequent criminal investigation took place.

“There’s a long history that the military isn’t held accountable for sexual assaults that take place under their watch,” said Rose Carmen Goldberg, professor of veterans’ law at the University’s Law School. from California.

Goldberg said that even though Jane Doe 2 filed her complaint under restricted status, she is still eligible to receive specialized support services, such as mental health counseling.

Goldberg questioned the vetting done by Fort Sam before the now closed spa was allowed to open on the post.

“The military is a single employer, but nonetheless it is an employer and the military is a workplace,” said Goldberg, who added that all employers must take steps to ensure that employees have the appropriate training and qualifications.

Information on legal and other support services for victims of military sexual assault can be found here.

Lawyers representing Wilkins and the spa did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment on this story.

KSAT has found no record, other than the lawsuits, of his involvement in any professional misconduct in connection with the alleged assaults.

The spa received a nearly $61,000 loan under the Paycheck Protection Program in May 2020, which was later forgiven, records show.

The spa is no longer in operation.

The lawsuit brought by the first Jane Doe was settled out of court.

The Jane Doe 2 trial is ongoing. He is tentatively scheduled to go to trial in mid-January, according to Bexar County court records.

She is seeking between $200,000 and $1,000,000 in damages, according to court records.

TDLR fines McDaniel

In February 2019, following a 13-month civil investigation into McDaniel, TDLR officials fined him $2,500 for performing massage therapy sessions without a license.

McDaniel did not pay the fine, a TDLR spokeswoman confirmed earlier this year.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations fined LeDerick McDaniel $2,500 in February 2019. (KSAT)

A public affairs officer for the 502nd Air Base Wing said via email that it would be “inappropriate” to speculate or comment.

He referred an investigation into the control that was allowed in the spa to operate on duty to a public relations officer from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

The official said in an email late last month that he had asked for answers but so far had not provided an official response to KSAT.

In an unrelated incident in January 2019, San Antonio police investigators said McDaniel damaged the door of a man’s vehicle during a child swap dispute.

A warrant was issued for McDaniel’s arrest in late November of that year for criminal mischief, according to court records.

The charge was dismissed last month after McDaniel paid full restitution in the case, court officials confirmed.

KSAT Investigates was unable to locate McDaniel to comment on this story.

Looks like he doesn’t live in San Antonio anymore.

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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