New charges for massage therapist for Kansas female athletes

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A man who provided massages for female athletes at the University of Kansas is facing six new misdemeanor charges of sexual battery.

Shawn O'Brien, 49, of Lawrence, was charged in February with indecent liberties with a child. When the charges were reported, the University of Kansas canceled its contracts with O'Brien and began an investigation.

Six female KU student-athletes told investigators they had experienced "unwarranted touching" during massages by O'Brien. The school said at the time that O'Brien provided free massages for students on campus during alumni association-sponsored finals dinners between 2011 and 2019 and might have provided massages for athletes at his massage business in Lawrence.

The amended charges, filed July 14, do not specify the genders of the alleged victims or say whether they were current or former Kansas students or student-athletes, The Kansas News Service reported.

O'Brien's attorney, Philip Sedgwick, declined to comment Wednesday on the new charges.

Court documents do not say whether the alleged assaults happened on campus. However, the Douglas County District Attorney's Office confirmed that four of the counts are associated with report numbers provided by the university's Public Safety Office.

The amended charges involve four people who were between the ages of 19 and 23 when the alleged assaults occurred, according to court documents.