A co-owner of an Elizabeth spa has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a customer, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park and Elizabeth Police Director James Cosgrove jointly announced Tuesday.

German Lopez, 51, of the Bodies and Faces Spa in Elizabeth’s Elmora section, is charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

An investigation involving the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit and the Elizabeth Police Department determined that the victim, an adult female, visited the spa on Saturday and was receiving a massage from Lopez when he suddenly sexually assaulted her and exposed himself, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Tracy Boyd, who is prosecuting the case. The victim subsequently reported the incident to police, Boyd said.  

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Lopez’s first appearance in court took place on Monday, and he is currently in Union County Jail pending a detention review and hearing scheduled for next Tuesday.

Anyone with information about Lopez’s actions is being urged to contact Elizabeth Police Department Detective Yohara Barrios at 908-558-2103.

Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by terms of 5 to 10 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

UPDATE:  Lopez's attorney Patricia Prezioso, a partner with McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli in Florham Park, responded to the charges, saying, "German Lopez has been falsely accused. We look forward to clearing him of these charges.”