The new accusations were shared Thursday as prosecutors unsuccessfully asked a state District Court judge to detain Megumi Hirayama, the 69-year-old owner of Zen Japanese Acupuncture who is facing a criminal sexual penetration charge. Although he will be released from jail, pro-tem judge Richard Brown ruled that Hirayama is prohibited from practicing Oriental medicine or going within five blocks of his office as he awaits trial.
Testifying at the hearing, APD Detective Daniel Spinks said investigations into the new allegations are in the preliminary stages, but the earliest reported abuse had taken place about 8 to 10 years ago.
He said the conduct described by two of the women may constitute criminal sexual penetration, while the other two women reported behavior that could constitute criminal sexual contact. Charges have not been filed in those cases.
“When victims realize that there are potentially other people who have been harmed by somebody, they then feel more comfortable coming forward themselves and make a disclosure months, years after the alleged incident,” Spinks said.
At this point, Hirayama is facing charges involving only one woman who told police she went to Hirayama for help with foot pain. He was professional during her first two sessions, but at an appointment in August, she told him about her son’s death and he offered to provide “grief therapy.” Police say he fondled her and told her “this is for grief” before digitally penetrating her.
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