Massage Envy therapists accused of 180 sexual assaults
28 November, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Warren Cooper
Massage Envy, the nation's largest massage franchise, says it is planning to "strengthen" its policies after more than 180 women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against the company's massage therapists and managers.
Numerous lawsuits against Massage Envy are being filed as a Buzzfeed investigation revealed 180 allegations of sexual assault.
"But a review by BuzzFeed News found the company's policies on reporting improper conduct do more to protect the company brand than to ensure customer complaints are handled appropriately".
Massage Envy does not compel franchisees to notify police of sexual assault complaints except where such reports are required by local laws.
Massage Envy, responding to an inquiry from USA TODAY, called the incidents "heartbreaking" and said they occurred over 15 years among 125 million massages.
In one case, a massage therapist accused of misconduct was transferred to another location, only to have other women later report the same individual. One client, Susan Ingram, told CBS News it was during her seventh visit that Deiter violated her, throwing her into "a state of shock, disbelief, fear".
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According to an ABC News report, one woman is suing after she said she was assaulted in 2015 at a Massage Envy in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
There are 32 Massage Envy locations in MA.
"It's very alarming, very alarming, people are very vulnerable when they go in for a massage", said Leslie Lombino of Somerville, Massachusetts. The report cites incidents of groping and other violations. "She said she could not do that, and she invited me in to talk about my services".
Deiter was sentenced up to 13 years for assaulting Ingram and eight other women, Yahoo Lifestylereported.
"Massage Envy is a partner in crime", Ingram said. "We are constantly listening, learning and looking at how we can do more, including how we support franchised locations with best practices in handling these incidents and supporting their clients".
Adam Horowitz, A lawyer who has worked on two dozen cases against Massage Envy says the actual number of assaults is likely much higher than what has been reported. The news outlet said massage providers in most states are not legally mandated to report client allegations of sexual assault made in their facilities.
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