BUTLER — A Butler massage therapist Monday pleaded guilty to raping a client while he was giving her a massage.
James “Jim” Whitman, 57, of the 300 block of North Park Lane, is charged in DeKalb Superior Court I with “rape when the victim is unaware of the defendant’s actions,” a Level 3 felony.
However, during Monday’s plea hearing, Whitman’s attorney, William Joseph Carlin, said he did not believe a factual basis had been established to show that the victim was “unaware.” Carlin acknowledged that Whitman is anxious to move forward, but he argued that sexual battery, not rape, is the appropriate charge.
Judge Kevin Wallace took the plea under advisement and said he will review other relevant cases to determine whether there is a sufficient factual basis to accept Whitman’s plea to rape. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 12.
If Wallace accepts Whitman’s plea, a plea agreement caps any executed sentence at six years, with all other terms open to the court.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Indiana State Police Detective Jake Quick, the alleged incident took place Jan. 4. The alleged victim told police she had been going to Butler Creative Touch Massage, owned by Whitman, to receive massages from Whitman over the past two years and had been at the business to receive a massage on that date.
Before the massage, she spoke with Whitman about areas of concern, which included her diaphragm and pectoral muscles, the affidavit said. The woman’s physical therapist recommended that she suggest these areas be worked on by Whitman, according to the affidavit.
The woman told police that during the massage, Whitman began rubbing areas of her body that she thought were outside the area of a normal massage and, without warning, inserted his fingers into her body, the affidavit said. She told police it happened very quickly and she was shocked, jumped up from the bed and told Whitman she had to leave, according to the affidavit.
The woman told police that when she was receiving the massage, she was in a state of relaxation and was not paying attention to what was going on in the room around her. She told police she was unaware she was being digitally penetrated until she felt Whitman’s fingers. She told police she was “shocked and completely caught off guard,” the affidavit said.
Monday, Whitman admitted he intentionally inserted his fingers inside the woman, had not discussed it with her, and did not have her permission to do so.
Under questioning from Carlin, Whitman said the victim was not unconscious and was awake.
However, DeKalb County Deputy Prosecutor Joshua Byanski argued the woman was “unaware” and was not “aware” until the act was completed.
“She was awake,” Whitman told the court. “I’ll serve my time, but she was awake. … I just want to get it over with.”