Mt. Shasta B&B sexual assault victims now total 8 as more details of owner’s past and similar charges surface

UPDATED: Monday, June 28, 11:27 a.m., With additional details, interviews.

Originally Published: Thursday, June 24, 5:22 a.m.

MT SHASTA, Calif. — The 73-year-old owner of the Shasta MountInn Retreat and Spa who remains at the center of an ongoing sexual battery investigation was arrested on a felony warrant related to the case yesterday, Wednesday, June 23. Charges related to the warrant indicate David Roy Knowles was booked into Siskiyou County Jail on suspicion of one count of sexual penetration by use of force, two counts of sexual penetration by fraud, and five counts of sexual battery by fraud. He has since been released after posting $100,000 bail.

Mt. Shasta PD acting Chief Robert Gibson today told SCNS by phone that the department’s extensive, weeks-long investigation has uncovered eight separate victims. However, department officials and the District Attorney’s Office have continued to say they do not believe these are Knowles’ only victims and they are continuing to ask for other potential victims to come forward.


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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’ initial, May 18th arrest. Knowles owns the B&B where the alleged assault occurred. The property features a Victorian-era farmhouse and offers a sauna and massage services – provided by the man who now stands accused.

Within days of his initial arrest, Knowles was released from custody and the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office sent the case back to Mt Shasta PD for additional, follow up investigation.

MSPD officials explained at the time, “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.”

Following an extensive, weeks-long sexual assault investigation, Mt. Shasta Police Department arrested David Roy Knowles, 73, on a Siskiyou County felony warrant. A total of eight victims have now come forward in the ongoing investigation against the Shasta MountInn Retreat and Spa owner. Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office photo

MSPD’s announcement of Knowles’ release caused a firestorm of controversy in the small mountain community of less than 3,500, with some locals initially standing up for and strongly defending Knowles, while many others were left defending the actions of the police department.

Knowles’ release also caused many area residents to speculate that the charges and case against him had been dropped, with several area locals telling SCNS at the time that Knowles himself had told them and others in phone conversations and online that the charges against him had been dropped. Kicking the small-town rumor mill into overdrive, the confusion caused many to question whether there was actually an active case against the 73-year-old.

The furor caused MSPD to soon provide an update to their initial social media post 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.”

As their investigation continued, MSPD served a search warrant at the B&B, during which detectives seized a computer, business records, cell phone and numerous other items of potential evidentiary value from the location.

Additionally, over the next several weeks more victims began to come forward, ultimately totaling eight and leading to the subsequent warrant for Knowles’ arrest being issued by the District Attorney’s Office.


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While conducting background research related to this investigation, SCNS learned through a tipster that 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 in a case eerily similar to the current cases against him, with allegations that he had sexually assaulted a female victim while performing service as a licensed massage therapist. He was 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.”

Asked this morning if MSPD was aware of Knowles’ Hawaii conviction and if that case had any influence on MSPD’s investigation, Gibson said, “Although we are aware of that case against Mr. Knowles, it had absolutely no direct bearing on this investigation.”

“Aspects of that case and similarities to this investigation are now being looked into by the District Attorney’s Office,” the acting Chief explained.

It is believed that the seven fraud allegations against Knowles could be related to the fact that he had continued providing licensed massage services to female clients, despite having been ordered to no longer provide those types of services. However, contacted for confirmation, Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus was not immediately available due to COVID-19 related limited hours of operation.

Although not available for comment today, in a prior interview with SCNS in response to widespread citizen concern regarding the case, Andrus confirmed at the time that even as new victims were being identified, additional victims and witnesses were continuing to come forward.

At that time six potential victims had been identified and had been or were scheduled to be interviewed. Despite that, Andrus said his office still believed there were additional victims who had yet to be identified. Since that interview, two more victims have come forward with their own allegations against Knowles.

“We are aware that some witnesses or victims may still wish to remain anonymous, but we implore you to reconsider,” Andrus said at the time.

“We strongly sympathize with all victims of sexual assault and the significant challenges victims may face,” he 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.”

SEE: Exploring Shasta County History with Jeremy Tuggle:

Bella Vista: A lumber town

Legendary Mining Lore: Gold Nuggets of History

Silver City: A prelude to Furnaceville & Ingot – Part 1

Furnaceville & Ingot: Home of the Afterthought mine – Part 2

Exploring the rich history of McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

Cottonwood’s origins, from small 1850s townsite to 1890s growing RR hub

Due to the fact that officials still believe there are additional victims who have yet to come forward, MSPD is continuing to ask that anyone who believes they were victimized or knows someone who was possibly victimized to contact them.

“We want to assure anyone that provides information, that your confidentially can and will be protected,” MSPD recently said about the ongoing investigation. “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; adding, “The Mount Shasta Police Department will continue to follow up on any information that we receive regarding this case.”

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.