The State of New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs has permanently revoked the license of a massage therapist of a Little Egg Harbor man after he allegedly engaged in inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact with a female client.

The State Attorney General's Office says John R. Popper, 48, of Little Egg Harbor engaged in the inappropriate behavior while working at the Hand and Stone Spa in Somers Point.

On July 31, 2020, the Board voted unanimously to permanently revoke Popper’s license, effective immediately, after Popper was criminally convicted of harassment by offensive touching in Somers Point Municipal Court for placing his hand on a client’s vagina during a massage. Popper was originally charged with criminal sexual contact but the charge was downgraded to harassment, a disorderly persons offense, and remanded to municipal court. The Board accepted the State’s argument that Popper’s license should be revoked on the grounds that, among other things, he engaged in professional misconduct and committed a crime of moral turpitude.

In a Final Order filed on Aug. 25, 2020, the Board concluded that Popper’s conduct was “so egregious and morally reprehensible, and so fundamentally at odds with anything that we would expect of a massage therapist that nothing short of permanent revocation would be sufficient to protect the public health, safety and welfare.”

More on the case and the ongoing crackdown in New Jersey on "Sexual Misconduct & Abuse by Licensed Professionals" can be found here.

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SOURCE: New Jersey Attorney General's Office.