A massage therapist on Long Island who worked for Karasmatic Day Spa was arrested recently for sexually abusing a customer, according to police. Matthew Widener, 33, of Farmingville, is facing a charge of sexual abuse in the third degree.
Widener allegedly inappropriately touched a 34 year old woman while she was getting a massage at Karasmatic Day Spa in Bayport, NY. Widener’s employment was terminated and victims are being asked to come forward.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have heard a claim like this. Sadly they are often true. Here at Goldstein and Bashner, we have represented numerous clients that have had similar experiences while getting a massage. Any unwanted touching on an inappropriate body part is a form of sexual assault. There is an expectation of professionalism, that is broken and relaxing massage turns into a violation.
In New York, civil laws allow massage therapy businesses to be held liable when a massage therapist sexually assaults a client during a massage. This applies to all types of businesses which offer massages including physical therapy businesses, day spas, wellness centers, etc. Sadly many victims do not report when they have been assaulted during a massage. Often times due to shock and fear of the sexual contact, the client will go into an involuntary “freeze response” to cope with the trauma of the assault.
In a sex assault lawsuit against a business owner, the injured party must prove that the defendant (business owner) had knowledge of the problem beforehand or at the very least, should have known about it. Proper investigation is crucial, and our firm has the resources to investigate thoroughly. We will investigate prior complaints made against the therapist or other employees. In addition, the business’ policies, procedures and practices become important. Did the business have a policy for reporting acts of sexual misconduct? If and when any such reports came in, what did the business do internally to deal with the report?
Neal Goldstein has represented many victims of assault by a massage therapist in New York. If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual assault by Karamatic Day Spa or anyone else, you need to speak to a sexual assault lawyer who can help you understand what your options are. Our team knows this is a stressful time for you. We know the subject is delicate and we will treat you with compassion and respect during the entire process and with complete confidentiality. Call us today at 516-222-4000 for a free consultation.