SCOTTS VALLEY -- A 35-year-old massage therapist was jailed Monday for allegedly sexually abusing four women while giving them massages at a business on Mount Hermon Road.

Richard Alexander Fletcher of Capitola was arrested at the Scotts Valley Police Department on Monday afternoon and booked at County Jail on felony and misdemeanor allegations of sexual battery and abuse. His bail is $50,000. He remained in custody Tuesday evening.

Scotts Valley Police Sgt. Jayson Rutherford said police were called to the business Sunday when a woman reported that Fletcher had sexually assaulted her during a massage.

Rutherford said Fletcher is a subcontractor at the unidentified business.

After Sunday's incident, police found three other women who say they were similarly assaulted during massages and had not yet reported it, Rutherford said.

Fletcher's massage practice is based in Capitola. He offered Swedish massage, integrative body work and massage therapy.

He has no criminal history in the county, court officials said.

According to the California Massage Therapy Council -- a private agency formed by legislative mandate -- Fletcher has not applied for voluntary certification through that agency since it began processing applications in 2009.

The council's director of governmental affairs, Barbara Day, said the council has about 40,000 certified massage therapists.

"I have never heard (Fletcher's) name before today,"

she said. "I hate to hear stories like this."

Voluntary certification would be suspended if criminal charges are filed against a massage therapist, she said.

Also, starting this year, the council can investigate complaints and suspend certification in cases where they have firsthand information and where evidence does not meet the higher level required for criminal prosecution, Day said.

According to the Scotts Valley Municipal Code, the police chief can revoke a business license if a business owner or employee has been convicted within the past 10 years of committing a lewd act.

In 2011, the Scotts Valley City Council shut down Shiatsu Spa on Scotts Valley Drive after an undercover sting in which a 62-year-old employee there, Qiuying Zhang, allegedly solicited an undercover officer.

The undercover operation in January 2011 was not the first conducted at the establishment, Police Chief John Weiss told the council, saying that business owner should have exercised more caution in hiring.

"We can't tolerate this activity in our town," he said.

Investigators ask anyone with information, including possible additional victims, to call the Scotts Valley Police Department at 831-440-5670.

Follow Sentinel reporter Cathy Kelly on Twitter at Twitter.com/cathykelly9

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