Woman accuses, sues massage therapist for $1M

Benjamin Thomas Collura will be arraigned on grand jury indictment on March 24

Benjamin Thomas Collura, March 10, 2016 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Benjamin Thomas Collura, March 10, 2016 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A woman who claims she was sexually abused during a massage at a South Portland hotel is suing the accused massage therapist and the hotel’s management company.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, alleges sexual battery and is seeking more than $1 million.

According to the complaint, a woman was visiting the River’s Edge Hotel & Spa, located at 455 Southwest Hamilton Court, on Feb. 20, where she received a massage from Benjamin Collura. The civil lawsuit alleges that after the otherwise “dignified” and “professional” massage, Collura “took the occasion to sexually violate” the woman with his hand.

On March 9, the Portland Police Bureau Sex Crimes Unit arrested Collura. On March 16, a grand jury indicted Collura on one count each of second-degree sexual abuse and third-degree sexual abuse.

According to a probable cause statement, Collura admitted that his erect penis made contact with the woman’s hand and that he had “penetrated the victim’s vagina with two fingers.”

Collura, according to court documents, told court staff that he is a fulltime student at Portland State University. He also reportedly told staff that he has known the victim for about a month. Additional details on how the two know each other have not been released.

In a statement to KOIN 6 News, River’s Edge Hotel & Spa General Manager Antonio Recillas said: “At this time we know nothing about our involvement in a suit.  And, we hope you understand that at this stage we would not be able to comment any further than our initial statement.”

At that time, Recillas said: “The River’s Edge Hotel & Spa takes any situation of misconduct extremely seriously. The person in question has been terminated and is in the hands of the Portland police department. While this is an extremely unfortunate situation, we are relieved to know that the individual is in custody. The safety and comfort of our guests is of paramount importance to us and we will continue to aid the police in any way we can.”

Collura is scheduled to be arraigned on the grand jury indictment on March 24. When reached by phone, he declined to comment and referred all questions to his attorney.

“At this point we have to make no comment on behalf of Mr. Collura,” defense attorney Shawn A. Kollie said via email.

He has since posted bail and remains out of custody.

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