EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Jurors in southern Illinois have convicted a male massage therapist of assaulting a woman during a massage in Edwardsville in 2015.

Ronnie Blom of Litchfield was found guilty Thursday afternoon of sexually assaulting a customer. He faces between eight and 30 years in prison when he is sentenced. Deputies handcuffed the 58-year-old Blom and took him out of the courtroom after the verdict was read.

The Belleville News Democrat reports that Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said the verdict was thanks to “brave testimony” from four victims. The victim testified and three other women offered similar testimony.

Defense attorney Scott Snider argued that the “line between therapy and sensuality and sexuality” can become blurred during a massage. Blom did not testify. The defense didn’t call any witnesses.

Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.