BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — DANVERS — A Wenham man is facing sexual assault charges after another man said he was raped while receiving a massage from his gym buddy Saturday, according to police.
John A. Acciavatti, 52, of 207 Topsfield Road, Wenham, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court to two counts of rape and a charge of indecent assault and battery.
Judge Matthew Nestor set bail for Acciavatti at $10,000, with a condition that he stay away from the gym where he met the alleged victim and stay off the website Craigslist.
According to the complaint, Danvers police received a 911 call on Saturday afternoon, shortly before 4 p.m., from a 32-year-old man who said that he had been sexually assaulted at a business on Centre Street that offers massages, according to a police report.
The man said that he and Acciavatti, whom he’d met at an area gym, were alone and Acciavatti was giving him a massage when he suddenly realized that Acciavatti was starting to engage in a sexual act.
The man told police he was afraid of Acciavatti and did not immediately flee. When he changed positions, he told police, Acciavatti then attempted another sexual act.
The man said he then fled the room and called police, according to court papers.
Acciavatti is not a licensed massage therapist but had apparently invited the man to the studio for a massage to help him deal with an issue related to his workout.
Acciavatti, who has denied that he did anything inappropriate, was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
During his brief court appearance, a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf by the judge.
The bail amount was agreed to by Acciavatti’s attorney, public defender William Martin. Acciavatti, however, was told that he will have to hire his own attorney as the case moves forward because he does not qualify for a public defender.
Acciavatti is due back in court on May 8.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.