Judge denies plea deal for Smyrna massage therapist accused for sexually assaulting 10 women


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Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Rutherford County judge denied a plea deal for a former Smyrna massage therapist accused of sexually assaulting almost a dozen women at his day spa. One of the victims spoke in court on Thursday about an incident that happened to her in February 2016.

News4 was the only media inside the courtroom for a story we broke almost five years ago.

Inside the Rutherford County courtroom, Danielle Kendall said this was the last day former massage therapist Marco Rigo would force her to do something she didn’t want to do: remember the day he sexually assaulted her.

”For the past five years, you have inserted yourself into mine and my family’s life like an intrusive parasite,” Kendall said during her statement on Thursday. “Marco Rigo touched me in places no professional has ever come close to touching. I have never been so violated in all of my life.”

She said she called the police immediately after she left. No arrest was made for a year.

”I would drive past that spa for nearly a year and would see Maro Rigo’scar in the parking lot,” she recounts.

Kendall says she feared she would see him in town, but she would acknowledge the plea deal proposed by his attorney.

”I am not pleased with the deal that I am agreeing to today,” Kendallcomments.

But after Kendall’s final plea, the judge acknowledged her. He decided not to accept the plea agreement – a decision Kendall never saw coming.

”It amounts to 18 months of probation with no jail time at all,” said JudgeTidwell.

”It took a while for the words to really register, for them to sink in,” Kendall says.

Rigo will go to trial on May 27. Rigo has gone to trial before. He was tried by a different judge and was found not guilty. Kendall says each victim had a separate trial, and after the first “not guilty” verdict, the other victims backed out. That worries her when she heads back to the court house next month.

”The jury isn’t going to hear anyone else’s story when I go to trial,” she told News4 after the judge denied the plea deal. “It’s just going to be mystory, and the jury isn’t going to know that he assaulted a dozen other women.”

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