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A Chandler man will be arraigned in court next month on allegations that he masturbated in front of a massage therapist.
Matthew Coates, 43, is facing a misdemeanor charge of public sexual indecency in connection with the Nov. 29 incident. Coates is a successful real estate agent and is co-founder of the popular Living Chandler Facebook group, which has more than 66,000 members.
Police say Coates met his accuser after responding to a promotion for her massage business on Living Chandler. The woman called 911 immediately after his appointment and since has obtained an injunction against him.
Todd K. Coolidge, a lawyer representing Coates, said in an email to The Arizona Republic thathis client would not be commenting.
“I represent Mr. Coates and have advised him to not make any statements at this time,” Coolidge said. “The matter is still under investigation and we are working with the prosecutor’s office to resolve this.”
According to a Chandler police report, a 30-year-old woman who works as a freelance massage therapist reported to officers that on Nov. 29, Coates masturbated toward the end of a 90-minute massage appointment.
The woman, who contacted police the same night, told the investigating officer she felt uncomfortable and cut the appointment a few minutes short, the police report says.
She told police Coates told her, “You have me aroused,” the report says. When she responded, “Excuse me,” Coates apologized and stopped. As she continued with the massage, he began to masturbate again, the woman told police. That’s when she told him the massage was over and she left the room, according to the police report.
The massage took place at a medical office where she works. Her employer allows her to use the location for her massage appointments when the office is closed, according to the police report.
When Coates paid her $90 for the appointment, he added $50 in gratuity and asked her what she thought “about him being aroused,”the woman told police. She responded that she’s not the massage therapist for him, according to the police report.
Coates had scheduled a follow-up appointment but later canceled it, telling the woman via Facebook message that he was too busy.
As part of the police investigation, the woman agreed to make another appointment with Coates as pretext to arrest him. Police had the woman call Coates, and officers listened in on their conversation after having coached her on what to say, according to the police report.
“Immediately after hanging up the phone, (redacted) said, ‘Can I go puke now?’ (Redacted) began visibly shaking and crying,” one officer wrote.
On Dec. 27, Coates arrived at the office for what he thought was another message appointment, thinking he was going to have sex with the woman, the police report says.
But police were on scene and arrested him.
Coates, in his interview with police, admitted to “touching himself” during the massage, the report says. He said he didn’t contact the woman again after the massage because he knew she felt uncomfortable. He told police he was surprised that she called to set up another appointment, the report says.
Asked by police whether the woman had done anything to make him believe it was OK to masturbate, Coates “talked about how she was pleasant and friendly,” an officer wrote in the report. “I asked if this seemed more than professional, and he said it certainly could have been just ‘professional courtesy,’ but he seemed to imply that the pleasant conversation and demeanor factored into his decision to masturbate.”
Coates told the officer that he “frequented other massage parlors where the massage therapist would initiate masturbatory contact,” according to the report. “At no point did he state or suggest Ms. (redacted) did anything like this during his massage.
“He maintained she was professional and friendly, but did not suggest she did anything that went beyond the proper and professional bounds of her role as his massage therapist.”
Coates also told the detective about his 20-year marriage, his “upstanding reputation” and that “he worked with various causes to improve the lives of others,” the report says.
Before he was cited and released, the officer served Coates with an order of protection against harassing the woman, the police report says.
His arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 5, Chandler Municipal Court records show.
About Living Chandler
Coates and his wife founded the Living Chandler Facebook group in 2016, which has more than 66,000 members today. The online group works to build a sense of community, sharing information about the city, hosting events and coordinating charity drives.
Original Source: AZ Central