Siskiyou DA: Six victims accuse Mount Shasta Bed and Breakfast owner of sexual assault

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald

A 73-year-old Mount Shasta man who operates a popular bed and breakfast has been charged with sexual assault after six people came forward to say he victimized them.

David Roy Knowles, Sr. was arrested Wednesday, said MSPD acting chief Robert Gibson, after an investigation into the allegations of a female victim who reported in May that she’d been assaulted by the keeper of the MountInn Retreat & Spa on Birch Street.

The alleged assaults occurred between April 2012 and May 2021 against people between the ages of 30 and 64, according to the felony complaint filed Tuesday by the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office.

David Roy Knowles, Sr.

Knowles has been charged with:

  • One count of sexual penetration by force,
  • Two counts of sexual penetration by fraud,
  • Five counts of sexual battery by fraud.

Knowles is scheduled for an arraignment on Wednesday, July 14, District Attorney Kirk Andrus said.

What is sexual penetration and sexual battery by fraud?

The two counts of sexual penetration by fraud took place in December of 2014 and again on May 14of this year, according to the complaint. It's alleged the victims were led to believe the penetration "served a professional purpose when it served no professional purpose."

The five counts of sexual battery by fraud charges stem from "unlawfully touching an intimate part of the victims' bodies," according to allegations from 2021, 2018, 2015, and 2012.

Mount Shasta Police Department headed investigation that led to charges

When Knowles was originally arrested on May 18, the MSPD made a post on its Facebook page, urging other possible victims to come forward.

On Wednesday, when he was rearrested and charged, Gibson said he believes there may be others who have yet to report abuse.

On May 25, MSPD officers executed a search warrant at MountInn Retreat and Spa and seized a computer, business records, cell phone and other items of evidence, Gibson said.

The Birch Street bed and breakfast was listed for sale June 3 for $895,000 on realtor.com and Zillow.

Held overnight on $100,000 bail, Knowles made bail Thursday afternoon, June 24, according to the Siskiyou County Jail’s website.

Andrus said victims can discuss their experiences with "complete confidentiality," and "nobody will force or compel you to testify in public.”

Those with information are asked to call the MSPD at 530-926-7540.

The DA's full complaint is here:

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation, lifelong Siskiyou County resident.