Florida

An acupuncturist’s license is suspended after teen patient’s sexual battery accusation

Matthew David Johnson
Matthew David Johnson Lake County Sheriff's Office

As a Lake County acupuncturist walked a 16-year-old patient to her car last October after an appointment, the Florida Department of Health said he told the girl “she should inform her parents that she needed to see him for more appointments so he could give her orgasms.”

The girl told Clermont police her acupuncturist had just finished raping her. She accused Groveland resident Matthew Johnson of fondling her and forcibly performing oral sex on her.

Johnson, 48, faces two counts of sexual battery on a person 12 to 18 years old by an adult. He posted $20,000 bond on Oct. 31 and pleaded not guilty on Nov. 2. The Florida Department of Health hit him with an Emergency Suspension Order (ESO) on Jan. 29.

The probable cause affidavit stated “The victim advised she just laid there on the massage table ‘terrified’ while Matthew Johnson sexually violated her.”

That affidavit said both Johnson and the girl told Clermont Detective Melissa France that he’d been treating her for an injury, two to three times a week for several weeks at Clermont’s One Yoga and Fitness. She said the session is usually a half hour of acupuncture and a half hour of deep tissue massage. It usually begins with her under a sheet after changing into a hospital gown.

On Oct. 30, she said there was no hospital gown laid out. But, this wasn’t the first time, so she undressed and covered herself with the sheet.

She said Johnson started the session by complimenting her eyes, comparing them to an ex-girlfriend’s then talking about his personal life. She said Johnson’s began rubbing her legs, then slid all the way up to her vagina with “Do you like when I touch you there?”

The affidavit said she described herself as “in shock and terrified” as he began to fondle her for 15 minutes, then Johnson “flipped me over and grabbed my legs and pulled me towards him. He put his mouth on me.”

As she left, the Department of Health’s ESO says, “Mr. Johnson told (the girl) that she should inform her parents that she needed to see him for more appointments so he could give her orgasms and stated he looked forward to seeing her.”

She drove home and told her parents, then Detective France that Johnson had sexually assaulted her. France had her place a call to Johnson while she listened.

“The victim asked him why he did that to her tonight and Johnson replied, ‘It was medical treatment,’” the affidavit reads. “Johnson further stated he could not discuss the session over the phone for ‘liability reasons’ but told the victim to come to his office the next day and they could discuss everything in person.”

Johnson told France he’d never had any sexual contact with the girl and when she mentioned sex during the phone call, “I got shell shocked. I was so freaked out when she said that.”

The affidavit reads, “When asked if his saliva (DNA) would be found on the victim’s vagina, breasts, legs, neck and ear, the defendant replied, ‘I don’t know. It shouldn’t be.’”

The affidavit, written by France, claims Johnson has prior arrests for sexual battery on a victim under 12 and kidnapping. Such arrests couldn’t be confirmed by a Herald online search of court records of the six Florida counties where Johnson has lived or Hawaii, where he lived in the 1990s.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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