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Sexual Abuse in Spas and Massage Parlors

The nationwide chain of massage parlors, Massage Envy, has received over 180 reports of sexual assault by female customers. In many cases, these victims filed simultaneous reports with law enforcement. Unfortunately, many perpetrators have retained their jobs at Massage Envy despite repeated allegations of sexual assault. Massage Envy claims that each individual franchise is responsible for conducting its own investigations when an assault is reported. The company does not require franchises to report claims of sexual assault to local law enforcement.

Sexual abuse in spas and massage parlors is frequently under-reported because victims of abuse may be confused or embarrassed about reporting unwanted sexual advances while receiving a massage or spa treatment. As in other forms of sexual abuse, assault by a masseuse or therapist involves any unauthorized form of touching, groping, or sexual activity. Consenting to a massage should never place the customer in a situation where inappropriate sexual contact ensues. If you believe if you have been subjected to sexual assault while receiving a massage or other therapeutic treatment, it is important to report the incident as soon as possible and contact law enforcement.

The owners of massage parlors owe a duty of care to their customers to employ reasonable measures for hiring staff and overseeing employees. Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that employees do not harm their customers. In some cases, owners of massage parlors may be aware that the perpetrator sexually abused customers at a previous place of employment. Hiring a masseuse who has been accused of sexual abuse while employed elsewhere would strongly suggest that the employer was negligent in its hiring practices.

In addition, when filing a civil claim for sexual assault, you may not receive sufficient recovery for your injuries by suing the therapist alone. Some massage parlors carry general liability insurance, but many establishments do not carry any policy at all or maintain policies that are inadequate to compensate a victim for sexual assault. Sexual assault victims can file claims against the owner, operator, or franchise owner of a massage parlor or spa for physical and emotional damages. Any of these entities could be held civilly liable for failing to take action to protect customers. The new statute of limitations in New York, New Jersey and other states now allow survivors of sexual assault to file claims against their abusers and the institutions that protected them for a specified amount of time even if the abuse occurred many years ago.

Levy Konigsberg LLP is a nationally recognized law firm that has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for victims of sexual abuse. If you or a member of your family has been the victim of sexual assault by an employee at a massage parlor or spa, please contact our lawyers for a free and confidential consultation by calling (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.


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