Recently there has been an alarming increase in reports by women who were sexually assaulted by their massage therapist. Buzzfeed reported just last week that more than 180 women have claimed that they were the victims of a sexual assault by employees of billion-dollar spa chain, Massage Envy and that the spa mishandled their claims. The assault consists of groping as well as more intrusive sexual acts.
When anyone patronizes a masseuse, a physical therapy business, or any service where you are touched, you deserve to expect that you will be safe — this includes that appropriate background checks have been made on their employees and that a culture of sexual violence does not exist and is never tolerated. Massage Envy’s failure to report abuses and assaults of their patrons to law enforcement, as well as suppressing reports, cannot be allowed to continue.
“Clients hire these therapists never expecting to be groped or even worse,” said Neal Goldstein, a lawyer who represents sexual assault victims. “When you go to these establishments, you give your utmost trust to these massage therapists and are put in vulnerable situations in private rooms. These sexual predators need to be punished.”
Businesses, as well as the individual, can be held responsible under the law when their employee sexually assaults a client during any kind of session. They can also be held liable if the employed committed prior acts of questionable conduct; that is why background checks should be required.
If the business had any reason to know that the employee behaved inappropriately, and they did nothing to prevent this behavior and continued to keep the employee, they can be held responsible for your injury and be required to compensate you fairly for your mental and emotional suffering.
Neal Goldstein has represented many victims of assault in New York. If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual assault by Massage Envy or anyone else, you need to speak to a sexual assault lawyer who can help you understand what your options are. These lawsuits require a thorough and competent investigation of the business, their policies when a report is made, and the employee’s past behavior.
The trust you put into your therapist that they will treat you with the utmost respect should always be protected. Contact Goldstein & Bashner at 516-962- 2314 for a free consultation.