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Problem Solvers Investigation results in new law keeping sex predators away from massage tables

Posted at 5:08 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 10:46:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A new law inspired by a CBS 6 Problem Solvers Investigation will close a loophole that allowed a convicted sexual predator to be re-hired and assault more women.

Senate Bill 408 was sponsored by State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R - 12th District) who said she was motivated to craft the bill after seeing the Problem Solvers Investigation.

Governor Glenn Youngkin (R - Virginia) signed the bill into law on Monday.

"I was really pleased to see the lawyers in the legislature say, 'this isn't already done?" Dunnavant said. "They were like me, they thought it was done too. So everybody was very happy to make this go through go very quickly and make sure the same error never happened again."

The first Problem Solvers Investigation into Shawn Robinson aired in March 2020.

Robinson had been accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Massage Envy on Midlothian Turnpike in 2019. Robinson had been indicted, but he was never arrested until the Problem Solvers started asking questions.

Robinson was later convicted in Chesterfield and sent to jail.

But, shortly after he was released, Robinson got a job at a day spa in Williamsburg. There he assaulted five more women.

Despite his previous conviction, Robinson kept an active license to practice massage.

The reason?

The court was not required to inform the state Department of Health Professions about Robinson's conviction, so the department did not know about it.

With the passage of the new law, judges will now have the court clerk send sentencing documents to the appropriate regulatory agency.

"I'm extremely pleased that laws are being changed," Chaz Roca, one of Robinson's victims in Williamsburg, said. "I am happy that I was able to shed light on a growing issue, and thank everyone involved for supporting this law."

The new law will take effect on July 1.

Robinson is currently locked up at the Greensville Correctional Center with 30 years left on his sentence.

Meanwhile, Roca and several other victims have filed a $100 million lawsuit against Massage Luxe, the company that hired Robinson in Williamsburg.

"I want to say how brave the women were that came forward to speak about this," Dunnavant said. "That takes humbling bravery, to step forward and ask for it to be fixed. With respect to their bravery and with a hope that this will never happen again, I want to make sure I am part of making a change that can protect where people were failed to be protected before."