New victims, witnesses come forward in Mt. Shasta B&B sexual battery case
MT. SHASTA, Calif. — Authorities today released additional information about an ongoing sexual battery investigation involving the owner of the Shasta MountInn Retreat and Spa. The B&B features a Victorian-era farmhouse and offers a sauna and massage services, which are provided by the man who now stands accused.
Although the investigation was launched after a sole female victim reported being sexually assaulted by the owner of the B&B, since identified as 73-year-old David Roy Knowles, Mt. Shasta PD acting Chief Robert Gibson today confirmed to SCNS that additional victims and witnesses have since come forward with similar allegations against Knowles.
Additionally, Gibson confirmed MSPD officials served a search warrant at the B&B, located on Birch Street in Mt. Shasta, on Tuesday, May 25th, and that the warrant service led to the seizure of numerous items of potential evidentiary value from the location.
LEADING THE SCNS HEADLINES:
The Mount Shasta Police Department began their investigation on May 16th when a woman reported she was sexually assaulted by Knowles while visiting the B&B, department officials previously announced after Knowles’ May 18th arrest.
Officials at the time said they did not believe this was the first incident involving Knowles and asked for other potential victims with more information and details about his alleged criminal activities to come forward.
Although 73-year-old David Roy Knowles was initially released after his arrest last week to allow Mt Shasta PD time to gather more evidence and continue their investigation, officials now say additional victims and witnesses have since come forward with allegations against the Shasta MountInn Retreat and Spa owner. Mt. Shasta Police Department photo
MSPD’s announcement earlier this month caused a firestorm of controversy, with some locals standing up for and strongly defending Knowles, while many others were left defending the actions of the police department.
After Knowles’ arrest and subsequent release, MSPD officials explained, “In consultation with the District Attorney, it was determined that there was a strong likelihood of additional victims, and the case was returned to MSPD for further investigation necessitating Knowles’ release from custody.”
However, Knowles’ release caused many area residents to speculate that the charges and case against him had been dropped. Additionally, several area locals have since told SCNS that Knowles himself told them and others in phone conversations and online that the charges against him had been dropped, further confusing the issue of whether there was an active case against the 73-year-old.
The furor caused MSPD to later provide an update to their initial social media post regarding Knowles’ arrest that read in-part, “Due to some incorrect speculative comments as to the current disposition of charges, the Mount Shasta Police Department has confirmed with the District Attorney’s Office that the charges have NOT been dropped and the investigation is ongoing.”
The ongoing questions and concerns about the case also eventually led Chief Gibson and Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus to release statements that the case and investigation against Knowles were active and ongoing and that none of the charges against him had been dropped.
As MSPD’s investigation was continuing, on Tuesday, May 25, Mt Shasta PD officials executed a search warrant at the B&B, where they seized a computer, business records, cell phone and other items of evidentiary value, MSPD said in today’s updated release.
“I can confirm that additional victims and witnesses have come forward since our initial press release regarding Knowles’ arrest,” Gibson told SCNS in a telephone interview this afternoon.
In their updated release today MSPD wrote, “We want to assure anyone that provides information, that your confidentially can and will be protected. We believe that there are still victims of Knowles who are unknown to law enforcement and may be hesitant or fearful to come forward.”
“You are not alone, and we will stand with you and the other brave victims who have contacted us,” the release continued.
After receiving a tip today, SCNS learned Knowles lived in Hawaii for many years prior to purchasing the farmhouse he later converted into a B&B.
While living there he was arrested and later convicted of sexual assault in the 4th degree.
“He was given a year wherein the court mandated he take sexual offender rehabilitation therapy,” the tipster explained; adding, “They stripped him of his massage license, and mandated he never be able to engage in this work again.”
In response to the ongoing concern regarding the case, District Attorney Kirk Andrus said today, “We appreciate the hard work being done by the Mt Shasta Police Department to investigate this case.”
“We are also aware that some witnesses or victims may wish to remain anonymous,” said Andrus; adding, “We implore you to reconsider.”
“We strongly sympathize with all victims of sexual assault and the significant challenges victims may face,” Andrus continued. “All victims of sexual assault need and deserve to be vindicated by having others who have had the same experience stand shoulder to shoulder with them to help them bear their burden.”
“if you are a victim or a witness to these or similar events, please contact the police department or my office and discuss the situation with us,” Andrus implored; adding, “You can do this with complete confidentiality, and nobody will force or compel you to testify in public.”
If you or anyone you know has stayed at the MountInn Retreat & Spa and were a victim, or possible victim, of sexual assault or impropriety involving Knowles, you are encouraged to contact the Mt Shasta Police Department at (530) 926-7540. Callers can remain anonymous.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.