Roseville massage therapist charged with misconduct

Brandon Lee PalmerThe Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has charged Brandon Lee Palmer, a massage therapist and owner of Serene Body Therapy on Snelling Avenue, with one count of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree and one count of criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree.

According to the Roseville Police Department, the charges against Palmer, 30, stem from a complaint made on Feb. 11, from a female client who alleged she was touched inappropriately while receiving a massage from Palmer.

“It is a he said, she said,” Roseville Police Lt. Lorne Rosand said. “But there’s no reason she’d make this up and she gave a tremendous amount of detail.”

The woman told police she had received two massages previous from Palmer and nothing inappropriate happened. The alleged incident happened during the woman’s regularly scheduled appointment on Feb. 7. The woman told police that during the one-hour massage she could hear the office getting quieter as people left for the night. She also told police she began to notice the massage lasting longer than the scheduled one hour.

From there, the woman told police, Palmer began making comments to her about moving the massage to a portion of the office that would be “quieter” so people couldn’t hear between the walls. The woman also told police Palmer made inappropriate comments about a woman he’d been in a recent relationship with.

According to police, Palmer then forced the woman’s hand to touch his groin area through his clothing and he also intentionally touched her groin area through her undergarments. Eventually, the woman told police, Palmer stopped touching her and left the room.

The woman told police she gathered her belongings and tried to leave the office but was stopped by Palmer who offered her a bottle of water and a hug. The woman fled the building and hid in a near-by bathroom to calm down.

Rosand explained its very common for victims of crime to not report an incident immediately.

“She just waited for a few days and that’s not uncommon,” he noted.

On July 16, Palmer was arrested without incident at his business. During questioning, Palmer denied touching the woman inappropriately.

If convicted of the fourth degree charge, Palmer faces 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both and for the fifth degree charge he faces up to one year in prison, a $3,000 fine, or both.

Palmer is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Aug. 1.

Rosand also said Roseville hasn’t had previous problems with licensed massage therapists.

“This is the first issue we’ve had with a licensed massage therapist,” he explained. “They’re professional, and licensed and undergo a background check.”

Dennis Gerhardstein, the public information officer for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, said a quick check with the office’s staff indicated very few problems with licensed massage therapists.

“It’s actually fairly rare,” he said. “To have a licensed therapist like this cross the line is disturbing.”

According the police, Roseville’s licensing board is currently reviewing the charges against Palmer and will soon determine whether to suspend or revoke his license.

Rosand also noted since police announced the charges against Palmer, other potential victims have called police to describe encounters they’ve had with him, and for that he praised the bravery of the woman who first came forward.

“She did the right thing,” Rosand said.

The Roseville Police Department is asking the public for help in identifying and speaking with other people who might have been victimized by Palmer. People with information can contact Det. Jamie Baker at 651-792-7008.

George Fairbanks can be reached at or 651-748-7813.

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