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Pueblo massage therapist accused of unlawful sexual contact on women no longer facing charges

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- A former Pueblo massage therapist who's been accused of unlawful sexual contact with multiple women has now been acquitted of some charges, and others have been dismissed by the District Attorney's Office. After facing trial on March 10, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has chosen not to re-try the remaining counts against Christopher Sais. Sais was tried on 12 counts of sexual contact during a false medical exam, all class-four felonies in Colorado in March.

RELATED: Pueblo jury delivers ‘hung’ and not-guilty verdicts in sex assault case against massage therapist

The jury on March 10 was "hung" on eight of those counts, and they found Sais not guilty on four of the counts. A hung jury occurs when all of the jury members cannot reach a unanimous verdict. Now, court documents are shedding more light on the DA's offices decision to not re-try the remaining counts.

Sais was a licensed massage therapist at Souler Wellness in Pueblo before he was arrested in April 2020 on allegations that he violated his female customers' trust and bodies in a number of ways.

RELATED: Multiple victims lay out sexual abuse allegation against Pueblo massage therapist in court

These violations include touching their genitals, cupping their breasts, and placing his crotch in their hand. Many of the alleged victims testified in pre-trial hearings that they remember feeling or seeing an erect penis during their sessions.

One of the victims told investigators Sais initiated unwanted and unprotected sex. Investigators say the alleged victim gave Sais consent to have sex but told him to wear a condom. Sais allegedly ejaculated inside the victim without her consent. None of the other victims said their vaginas were penetrated.

RELATED: After Pueblo massage therapist’s arrest, more than 10 potential victims report sexual contact

Over the next three years, the case was transferred from the 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office, led by elected DA Jeff Chostner, to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, led by elected DA Michael Allen. 13 Investigates learned in March this was because there was a "conflict of interest" with a victim's relationship to a member of the Judicial Building in Pueblo. Due to this, the case was heard by an out-of-county retired judge when it was finally set for trial.

In a motion filed by the 4th Judicial DA's Office on May 23, Deputy District Attorney Kelson Castain says two of the remaining victims did "not object" to dismissing the remaining "hung" counts tied to the allegations they brought forward against Sais. One of the victims did object.

The DA's office was still prepared to re-try two of the counts of unlawful sexual contact connected to a non-objecting victim. However, when that victim was approached days later, court documents stated she "did not want to appear for trial on May 30, and asked that Counts 1 and 2 be dismissed."

RELATED: Pueblo massage therapist arrested for sexual contact with high school student

13 Investigates spoke with Christopher Sais' defense attorney Adam Schultz, who says he did not wish to speak on the case until his client was acquitted. He says it took much longer to take the case to trial because of "discovery violations" by the Pueblo County District Attorney's Office.

"At one point, some of the accusers were vocal about believing that the defense was delaying the trial, which was absolutely not the case," Schultz said. "They had major continuances because of discovery, which should have been given to us. It wasn't anywhere near timely. Both times it was on the eve of the trial that was set."

Discovery violations are when defense attorneys are not given all of the evidence in a criminal case. There is a mandatory disclosure law within 21 days of the case being filed, but Schultz says key evidence was withheld up until days before two separate trial dates.

"Oftentimes, you don't have time to either digest it or to integrate it into what you're trying to do. There's information that's important that you might need to work into your case," Shultz said.

Shultz said Sais is "relieved" that he is no longer facing charges. He claims this case is an example of the "power of accusation" and the impact that can have on someone.

"This destroyed his business and destroyed the continuity in his life. He's obviously been extraordinarily stressed out and concerned about how this might go had it gone otherwise," Shultz said. "He knew he was innocent. He trusted the jury to believe him and to hear the facts."

Sais' attorney says he was able to raise "inconsistencies" in many of the victim's testimonies while on the stand during the March trial. He believes the not-guilty verdicts were a function of a justice system that worked.

"When it was subjected to the scrutiny that it was supposed to be subjected to and people took it seriously and actually heard everything that happened, the jury did not convict," Schultz said.

Shultz was critical of the way the Pueblo Police Department sought to encourage additional victims to come forward after Sais was originally arrested. He claims it included the "power of suggestion" and the "power of social media," after he says many of the victims were vocal on Facebook.

He vehemently denies that Sais engaged in any sex, unwanted or not, with any of his female clients.

"He absolutely did not ever have any sexual contact with his clients. That's how he testified under oath," Schultz said. "It sounds like the jury believed him as well."

13 Investigates spoke with one of the victims, who as an alleged sexual assault victim, will remain anonymous. She said her "rights were violated" by the District Attorney's Office. She calls the decision to not re-try the remaining hung counts a "disgrace."

"A predator, groomer, and sexual predator just got let go because Kelson and the DA's office couldn't do their job," she exclaimed.

Multiple victims in this case are expected to make public statements in the coming days, according to the named victim in the case.

13 Investigates reached out to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office to learn more about why the hung counts were not re-tried. A spokesperson issued this statement:

“The District Attorney’s Office takes seriously all criminal cases especially those involving sexual assault and sexual abuse. The victims in this case feel very passionately about the case and have demonstrated their drive throughout the years to have the case continue forward. We recognize and admire that passion and have stood with the victims throughout the process including continuing to prosecute the case following the recusal of the Pueblo District Attorney’s Office and through a two-week long trial involving more than 20 witnesses. 

After the verdict, our office consulted with all of the named victims and discussed the options available following a mistrial – some of the victims did not want to continue forward while others felt strongly that they wanted the case to proceed. After a thorough evaluation of the testimony at trial and in consultation with all the victims involved in the case, our office determined that the available evidence was insufficient to proceed to a second trial. A decision to not retry a case is never made lightly and always with the understanding that such a decision ends a case for those who have been part of it for so long. We continue to stand with all of the victims in this case and respect the wishes and feelings of all of the victims.” -- Howard Black, 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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