Masseur sex abuse scandal at top beauty parlour

Women who used an upmarket St John’s Wood beauty salon were sexually abused by a “predatory” masseur who exploited their vulnerability to take advantage of them, a court heard today (Wednesday, May 9).

Salon owner Daniel Pytlarz, 34, is alleged to have sexually abused 18 women, including a 17-year-old girl, at his Violet Clinic Body and Skincare Spa in Abbey Gardens over a two-and-a-half year period from March 2009 to September 2011.

The salon, which charges in excess of �200 for top-of-the-range treatments including massages, facials and manicures, was opened by Pytlarz and his wife three years ago.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court heard the salon owner did not discriminate against the type of women he assaulted and used “the veneer of clinical surroundings and a quasi-therapeutic environment” to prey on his victims.

Pytlarz, who lives in Abercorn Place, St John’s Wood, is alleged to have sexually abused women on a total of 21 occasions.

One 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named, had been given a �210 luxurious ‘Top To Toe’ spa day at the salon as a birthday present from her parents.

Prosecutor Lesley Jones told the court the girl was lying on her back for a massage when Pytlarz started touching her inappropriately and kissing her groin area.

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When the girl told him to stop, Pytlarz allegedly apologised for pushing her too far and said “I hope you enjoyed the massage” before directing her to have a facial in the next room.

Ms Jones said: “The defendant breached the trust placed in him by exploiting the complainants’ vulnerability. They put themselves in this situation where they were unclothed and in a relaxed state.

“He breached the confidence he was given as a professional person.”

She added that the salon’s description of “full body massage, tantric massage and deep relaxation massage” were just euphemisms “to cover up the defendant’s behaviour”.

The court heard the police contacted all the women on Pytlarz’s client list after three victims had reported allegations of sexual abuse.

A further 15 women then came forward with similar stories.

Pytlarz, who is described as “highly qualified in the field” with a number of massage qualifications from Poland, denies 14 counts of sexual assault and seven counts of assault by penetration.

The trial continues.