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St. Anthony pulls massage parlor’s business license following owner’s arrest
A New Brighton man charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with a July 1 incident at his St. Anthony massage business had his business license suspended by the city of St. Anthony last week.
The St. Anthony City Council voted July 22 to suspend the license of Tropical Treat Massage, located at 2500 Highway 88, citing city code that allows for suspensions and revocations of business licenses regarding crimes or violations “involving moral turpitude.”
Tropical Treat Massage owner Wade Rio Wutschke, 55, was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct—fourth-degree, massage or bodywork for hire—after a 22-year-old female massage customer told police that Wutschke allegedly fondled her breasts during a massage the afternoon of July 1.
St. Anthony City Manager Mark Casey explained at the council meeting that Wutschke had been notified of the pending license suspension. The suspension is applied retroactively to the date of his arrest and is effective until his guilt or innocence is concluded. If Wutschke is determined to be innocent, the license will be automatically reinstated.
As of July 21, window stickers advertising Tropical Treat Massage had been removed from the business’ location. Calls for comment were not returned.
Wutschke was released on $30,000 bail under condition of having no contact with the alleged victim and will next appear in Hennepin County District Court Aug. 5. The maximum sentence for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is 10 years, up to a $20,000 fine, or both.
Wutschke’s Hennepin County arrest was in violation of probation terms set by Ramsey County following a driving while intoxicated conviction.
Although the DWI charge occured in 2009, following a guilty plea his sentencing was delayed until 2013, at which time he received two years’ probation.
He was arrested by Ramsey County July 14 and subsequently released on his own recognizance, due to appear in Ramsey County District Court Oct. 28 for a probation violation hearing.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police that on July 1 at approximately 1 p.m., Wutschke allegedly directed her into a room at Tropical Treat Massage and told her to undress to a level with which she was comfortable and to lie on a table. She undressed to her underwear, removed her bra and covered herself with a sheet, according to the complaint.
Wutschke entered the room and allegedly massaged the woman’s back, eventually instructing her to turn over and lay on her back. At that point, Wutschke allegedly pulled the sheet down, exposing the woman’s breasts, prompting her to pull the sheet back up.
Wutschke allegedly pulled the sheet back down again and allegedly began to fondle the victim’s breasts without her consent. He allegedly told her that she had “nice breasts,” asked her if she “liked it,” and kissed her on the cheek.
Following the incident, Wutschke allegedly put his finger over his lips and told the alleged victim “Shhhh,” something she said she interpreted as an instruction to keep quiet about the incident.
According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim left the business and told her boyfriend and father about the incident; police soon found and arrested Wutschke.
In an interview with investigators, Wutschke allegedly told police that it was “possible” his forearm had touched the alleged victim’s breasts, and that he did whisper, “Shhhhh, the massage is over, get up quietly,” adding that it was typically how he ends a massage.
St. Anthony Police Chief John Ohl said that the city has suspended business licenses “at least twice” in the past due to prostitution busts at massage companies. He added that another reason the city would typically suspend a business license would be related to selling alcohol or tobacco to a minor.
According to information apparently written by Wutschke on Tropical Treat Massage’s Yelp page, Wutschke opened the business this year after working at a massage parlor franchise, and he said that he’d been a massage therapist for four years.
Mike Munzenrider can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-748-7824. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.