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Sexual Assault by a Massage Therapist

 

Massage Therapist Sexual Assault Lawyers – File a Civil Lawsuit Against a Spa

2017 Update: Lawsuits Ongoing in Multiple States for Massage Therapy Sex Assaults

Our lawyers represent victims of sex assault by professionals, such as a massage therapist or spa employee during a massage/spa treatment. Firm founder Brian Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who now advocates for victims in the civil courts.

Individuals who have been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist have legal rights to compensation via the civil courts, i.e., filing a civil tort lawsuit against the direct perpetrator (massage therapist) as well as the employer/business. In order to prevail against a business such as a spa company or massage business, the injured party must prove negligence or fault on the part of the entity which employed the perpetrator/massage therapist.

Massage Envy Franchising LLC Lawsuits for Sex Assault in Pennsylvania and South Carolina (2015)

Laffey, Bucci & Kent is accepting cases against a national chain, Massage Envy Franchising LLC, for sexual assaults committed by local franchisee employees and massage therapists. Massage Envy Franchising LLC spas are located throughout the United States including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, etc. There are multiple news reports around the country of massage therapists at Massage Envy Franchising LLC locations who are accused of sexually assaulting clients during a massage. There may be well over 3 or 4 dozen reports.

Brian Kent National Crime Victim Bar Association interview 2014

Brian Kent, National Crime Victim Bar Association Interview

RELATED NEWS: Brian Kent Represents Client Against State Court Judge in a Child Molestation Lawsuit [In this monumental case, a state court judge was accused of sexually abusing Mr. Kent’s client decades ago. A civil lawsuit was the only legal remedy available since the statute of limitations in the criminal case had expired. Mr. Kent accepted the case despite receiving backlash from the legal community and succeeded with the civil lawsuit. The judge admitted to sexually abusing Mr. Kent’s client when he was a child. He was removed from the bench and disbarred. Click the link to watch a YouTube video interview with the National Crime Victim Bar Association. ]

Currently, the firm, together with another local law firm, Luongo Bellwoar (Chester County, PA), is representing 6 women who have come forward with similar accounts of sexual abuse by massage therapists at multiple Massage Envy Franchising, LLC locations.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Area Massage/Spa Locations

There are numerous massage spa locations throughout the southeastern PA region:

  • West Chester,
  • Springfield,
  • Exton,
  • Newtown Square,
  • Southampton,
  • Plymouth Meeting,
  • Warrington, and
  • North Wales.

In addition, Laffey, Bucci & Kent is also representing a South Carolina woman who has also come forward with a similar allegation of sexual assault while receiving a massage at a local Massage Envy Franchising LLC location in Columbia, South Carolina.

These cases have been featured in multiple news reports by various organizations, including:

Any current or past customers of any Massage Envy Franchising LLC locations around the nation are invited to contact the firm to speak to Mr. Kent about representation in their area. The two firms may obtain special court admission to handle these lawsuits across the U.S.

Call 800.220.7600, Ask to speak to Brian Kent about a Massage Envy Franchising LLC assault case.

Liability Beyond the Massage Therapist – Corporate Interests

Brian kent lawyer member national crime victim bar associationOne of the most important issues to arise in a massage therapist sex assault case is whether the business itself can be held liable. That includes not only the owner of the local business, but also the national franchise, i.e., the national headquarters.

Many national franchises/companies in the massage therapy industry have popped up in recent years. Oftentimes, these types of national franchises require strict compliance with protocols. Many times, local franchises are required to abide by requirements set by the national company. In some instances, these policies may put unsuspecting consumers at risk. For instance, a national massage therapy company may prevent local franchises from filing reports with local law enforcement or state/local massage therapy licensing organizations after receiving reports of sexual assault by massage therapists. This is the type of conduct which can result in civil liability.

Monthly Massage Memberships – A Perfect Storm for Sexual Assault

Many local and national massage therapy businesses offer monthly memberships whereby a customer pays a low monthly fee and in return receives a monthly massage. These types of memberships foster a high volume practice. For perpetrators of sexual assault who are massage therapists, this is an ideal situation within which to victimize vulnerable clients.

Given the physical vulnerability that naturally occurs during a massage, these types of monthly membership scenarios provide the perfect storm for sexual assault–a massage therapist gets access to dozens of clients who feel compelled to get a massage precisely because they’ve joined and paid a monthly membership fee. In such high volume situations, quality control and protocol may become secondary considerations; reports of misconduct may be ignored or worse, hidden from the public.

Also, it’s important to note that massage therapists usually escalate sexual misconduct over a period of time, usually weeks or months. It’s uncommon for a sexual perpetrator to decide one day to commit a serious act of sexual assault. Rather, the perpetrator “tests the waters” with seemingly innocent conduct.

In a case involving a massage therapist, the perpetrator may spend more time massaging areas near private parts or may engage in light touching of genital regions. Massage clients may feel uncomfortable, but often believe they imagined the contact. Their silence only serves to embolden perpetrators, who then believe their conduct is acceptable. Even if a client reports feeling uncomfortable with a specific massage therapist, the business/spa may fail to investigate the situation or ask any questions at all. In some instances, the investigation may be intentionally swept under the rug, thus putting more clients at risk and increasing exposure to civil liability, i.e., a civil lawsuit for damages.

In sex assault lawsuits, victims often recover financial compensation for mental and emotional pain and suffering. In addition, the business may be ordered to pay punitive damages if particularly egregious conduct can be proved.

For more information, access our sexual assault and abuse law library.

About Our Crime Victim Injury Lawyers

Our lawyers specialize in handling sex abuse and sex assault cases against professionals, teachers/schools and religious entities such as churches. As a former sex crimes unit prosecutor, firm founder Brian Kent, is passionate about helping clients obtain justice in sex abuse cases.

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Laffey, Bucci & Kent is a Pennsylvania and New Jersey law firm with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. Our lawyers are licensed in multiple states and routinely obtain special court admission in other states via pro hac vice admission.

DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

*Sources

  • http://www.delcotimes.com/general-news/20150803/suit-filed-against-west-goshen-massage-spa
  • http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/07/31/client-ties-massage-envy-assaults-to-lax-policy.htm
  • http://chaddsfordlive.com/2015/07/09/massage-therapist-faces-more-charges/

Page last updated: August 8, 2017