An Edgartown massage therapist has been sentenced to two and a half years in a house of correction and three years probation following a series of sexual assault charges, including rape.

Sebastian M. Pattavina, 55, of Edgartown, pleaded guilty in Dukes County superior court Tuesday morning to seven counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, one count of assault and battery and one count of rape. The incidents took place in Edgartown between 2014 and 2018.

Although Mr. Pattavina initially pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned in district court in 2019, he changed his plea Tuesday.

“I’m here to change my plea, and accept responsibility for my indiscretions,” the defendant said in court.

Mr. Pattavina will serve two and a half years in the Edgartown house of correction for five charges of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 years or older. The prison term will be followed by three years probation for two additional assault charges, as well as the rape charge.

Additional conditions of probation include registering as a sex offender, attend sex offender counseling, various fines, forfeiting his license to practice massage therapy and an agreement to not work in a similar profession, including yoga instruction. Violation of the conditions of probation could result 20 years in state prison.

The plea deal and sentencing Tuesday followed months of back and forth between the defendant’s attorney and the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office.

The proceeding took place in the basement of the Edgartown courthouse, with the Hon. Mark Gildea presiding.

The charges stem from incidents that took place over the course of five years against five separate victims, according to court documents. The rape charge is from 2014. The defendant was indicted by a Dukes County grand jury in August 2019, after his arrest by Edgartown police in 2018.

Mr. Pattavina, who is originally from Connecticut and has a master’s degree in education from Quinnipiac University, owned and worked as a massage therapist at The Mod Spa near the Edgartown Triangle during the time the alleged assaults were committed.

According to a statement of evidence presented in court Tuesday by prosecuting assistant district attorney Jessica Croker, an investigation began in September 2018 when a former employee filed a report alleging that Mr. Pattavina non-consensually and inappropriately touched her during a massage.

“She indicated that during the massage, he acted in a way that was not professional in her opinion, being an experienced massage therapist herself,” Ms. Croker said.

The employee came forward after an incident two days prior, in which she heard a massage client crying and upset, asking Mr. Pattavina to leave her alone, according to Ms. Croker. The second victim described to police similar behavior by Mr. Pattavina.

Police interviewed Mr. Pattavina, who admitted to providing the massages. He said he did not ask prior consent for aspects of the massages that included inappropriate touching.

“He said that he did go too far,” Ms. Croker said.

After news reports of Mr. Pattavina’s arrest, three other victims subsequently came forward, describing similar incidents in 2014, 2015 and 2017, including non-consensual penetration, indecent exposure and nudity by Mr. Pattavina during the massages. Victims ranged from strangers to employees to neighbors, according to Ms. Croker.

“All of these victims have been affected for the rest of their lives by these acts by Mr. Pattavina,” the district attorney said. “They will always carry this.”

Represented by his attorney John Amabile, Mr. Pattavina agreed that the facts presented were true.

In her statement, Ms. Croker said the state took into account Mr. Pattavina’s lack of criminal record in advocating for a prison term in a house of correction rather than state prison. In response to a question from Judge Gildea, she said the desire for victims not to have to experience a trial also factored into the state’s recommended plea deal and sentencing.

The maximum sentence for indecent assault and battery on a victim 14 years or older is two and a half years in state prison. The maximum sentence for rape is 20 years in state prison.

“He will be punished for the acts that he did to these victims,” Ms. Croker said.

Two of the victims provided written impact statements Tuesday, and a third provided a stirring and powerful live testimony via Zoom in court. The Gazette does not include the names of victims in cases involving sexual violence.

With tears in her eyes, the victim compared the feelings of being scared, vulnerable, exposed and uncertain while testifying in court to her experience of sexual assault.

“I . . . will use my voice, even if it shakes with fear,” the victim said. “Sebastian, I trusted you, as did the other women. We made ourselves vulnerable to you, in seeking a massage. You preyed upon us, and took advantage of each of us.”

After extended questioning, Judge Gildea accepted the state’s recommended sentence.