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Man charged with raping woman in massage studio at Logan Airport

A massage therapist who works at Logan International Airport pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge that he raped a traveler while giving her a massage on Sunday, according to a statement from the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

Darnell E. Williams, 29, of Boston, was ordered held on $5,000 bail during his arraignment in East Boston Municipal Court. Williams is an employee of Be Relax Massage Studio inside Terminal B.

If he makes bail, prosecutors said, he must remain on home confinement and wear a GPS, among other conditions.

On Sunday evening, the traveler, a 25-year-old woman from out of state, went to the studio for a massage while waiting for her flight to depart, according to a statement from State Police, who investigated the allegations. Williams allegedly led her to a room in a back corner of the studio, and about 35 minutes into the hourlong massage, raped her as she lay face down, according to the statement.

Williams allegedly continued touching her inappropriately after she asked him to stop. The woman left the studio and became ill in the airport, and throughout her flight, according to the statement.

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When the woman returned home, she told a family member about the alleged assault, and contacted State Police Monday. Investigators determined that Williams was the only Be Relax employee working at the time of the rape who matched the description, according to the statement.

Troopers interviewed Williams, and prosecutors said Thursday that Williams made statements incriminating himself.

Williams is not employed by the Massachusetts Port Authority. Be Relax is a subtenant of Airmall, a company that manages businesses at the airport.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority said that Williams’s access badge has been permanently removed.

“We would like to thank the Massachusetts State Police Troop F for their prompt action in identifying and arresting this individual,” the statement said. “We have brought the seriousness of this charge to his employer.”

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Nicholas Briest, chief executive of Spa Atlantic, said, “We were shocked to learn of these allegations against our employee, and are cooperating fully with all authorities. During their investigation this employee will have no access to any of our facilities or other secured areas of Logan International Airport.”

Briest also said the company had a policy that required all workers to be “properly screened, licensed and trained. They are also subject – before hiring and subsequently every two years - to mandatory background checks by the Transportation Security Administration and fingerprinting by the Massachusetts State Police.”


Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.