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Lawrence massage therapist found guilty of felony aggravated indecent liberties with child, misdemeanor sexual batteries

Thursday, August 12, 2021 - 4:14pm

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez today announced that a jury returned guilty verdicts on three felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and five misdemeanor counts of sexual battery against Shawn O’Brien, 50, of Lawrence.  

The felony charges stemmed from multiple incidents in O’Brien’s home in which he touched a girl younger than 14 under her clothes on her chest and inside her underpants, while claiming to give her a massage.

The sexual battery convictions involved inappropriate touching of massage clients at his place of business and at the University of Kansas, where he was under contract with the women’s soccer team.

“Mr. O’Brien abused his position as a massage therapist to gain access to victims,” Valdez said. “Girls and women deserve to feel safe when turning to a practitioner for help, and this office will prosecute accordingly.”

The state was represented by Valdez and Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden. The case was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department, University of Kansas Office of Public Safety and the Kansas Department for Children and Family.

Sentencing was set by District Judge Sally Porkorny for 10 a.m. Sept. 24 at the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center. Bond was revoked, and he will undergo a Presentence Investigation. The three felony convictions are off-grid offenses, meaning they could be punishable by up to a hard 25 years to life in prison.

Media Contact

Jill Jess, Public Information Officer
785-841-0211