TOLEDO, Ohio -- A man charged with taking off a woman’s shoe and sucking her toes without permission at a mall has been accused of massaging the feet of other women without their consent.
Joseph Jones, of Toledo, was in court Tuesday to face menacing and sexual imposition charges. He told a judge he is being targeted after earlier pleading not guilty to sexual imposition.
“I’m actually a good person, I’m a business owner,” he said in court, where he was placed on electronic monitoring and told not to contact the women who asked for protection orders.
Court records show he was first accused of sucking the toes and kissing the cheek of a store employee at a Toledo mall in December.
Melissa Portala said she told her 18-year-old daughter to contact police after she said Jones asked to see her shoes and then began sucking on her toes. “She froze and didn’t know what to do,” Portala told CBS affiliate WTOL-TV in January.
Jones told her daughter he’d be back and did return to the store, according to court records.
Portala shared her daughter’s story on Facebook and encouraged other women to come forward, WTOL-TV reported. She also printed flyers to distribute to store managers at the mall to warn them of Jones’ behavior, but was arrested when mall security ordered her to leave and she refused.
“Other women [were] pouring their hearts out to me on Facebook and in private messages with horrific stories, and I knew this man was escalating his horrific behaviors, and if I remained silent, I would be contributing to this horrific behavior, and I cannot stay silent,” Portala told WTOL-TV.
Two women who work at the same store then came forward to say Jones took off their shoes and began massaging their feet - the first time in July. Another woman said he grabbed her foot.
Jones has been banned from the mall. He has another court date in two weeks.