Gilbert Anthony Lerma

Gilbert Anthony Lerma faces more than a dozen charges.

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A man is facing charges after police said he sexually assaulted two employees at two different Mesa massage parlors and sexually abused another woman during the past six months.

The investigation started when police said Gilbert Anthony Lerma said he wanted a massage at Relaxing Massage on Lindsay Road and University Drive on Sunday. When the 19-year-old was alone with the victim, police said he pulled out a gun, threatened her and sexually assaulted her, which caused her to scream.

Others came into the room, and Lerma took off. However, he left his car keys behind. That's when Lerma called 911 saying someone at Relaxing Massage stole his keys.

Police said Lerma's story didn't add up. He was arrested, and they said they found his handgun in a nearby trash can.

Detectives said they interviewed him and he admitted to the crimes.

Investigators also said he did something similar at the Asian Star Massage on Country Club Drive near Rio Salado Parkway on July 4. He used a handgun and sexually assaulted a victim and then stole money, according to police. He admitted to being involved, police said.

The third incident happened on Feb. 5. Police said he coerced a woman who was waiting at the bus stop near Horne and Southern Avenue to get into his car. He drove toward his home when he sexually abused the victim and when he got to his house, told her to go inside, police said.

She refused and went to a neighbor's house, asking for help.

When police originally asked Lerma about this, he said she asked him for a ride, was flirting with him and had consensual sexual contact in his car. He said she stole money from his wallet and tried to run off. Since there was no surveillance footage or corroborating evidence, "the case was inactivated," police said.

But due to the new information, he faces charges in that case, and the two others as well.

In total, he faces four counts of sexual assault, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of misconduct involving weapons, two counts of sexual abuse, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of endangerment and one count of armed robbery.

 


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