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Massage Envy Allegations: 180-Plus Spa-Goers Claim Harassment, BuzzFeed Says

Massage Envy Allegations: 180-Plus Spa-Goers Claim Harassment, BuzzFeed Says

(Jerry Coli/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 27 November 2017 11:34 AM

Massage Envy therapists faced sexual harassment allegations from more than 180 women, BuzzFeed reported its investigation revealed.

Massage Envy is one of the largest chain of massage franchises in the U.S., touting a reputation of professionalism, but BuzzFeed said its investigation brought to light dozens of sexual assault lawsuits, complaints and police reports against the national business.

In one case, Susan Ingram described how massage therapist James Deiter at Massage Envy in West Chester, Pennsylvania, sexually assaulted her in 2015.

She told CBS News that she was groped “roughly and aggressively” by Deiter, noting that she was “really in a state of shock, disbelief, fear.”

Deiter was sentenced up to 13 years for assaulting Ingram and eight other women, Yahoo Lifestyle reported.

Since then numerous other woman have come forth with similar stories.

“For me, it happened on a Sunday afternoon at a Massage Envy in Richmond, Virginia, in a crowded family shopping center,” noted another accuser, via a petition calling the company to change its policies. “I endured a long, humiliating, and painful trial, and the massage therapist was convicted of a felony sexual assault.”

Lawyers representing spa clients told BuzzFeed that the reported cases represent only a fraction of the incidents occurring, saying in some instances clients report sexual assault but no arrests are made, and in other cases Massage Envy has offered settlements before suits can be filed.

In court filings and in public statements viewed by BuzzFeed, Massage Envy said it was not liable for incidents of sexual assault taking place at the spas.

Melanie Hansen, general counsel of Massage Envy Franchising, said, “We hold franchise owners accountable to our policies and, when we say nothing is more important to us than treating clients with respect and giving them a safe, professional experience, we mean it.”

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Massage Envy therapists faced sexual harassment allegations from more than 180 women, BuzzFeed reported its investigation revealed.
massage envy, sex harassment, allegations, buzzfeed
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2017-34-27
Monday, 27 November 2017 11:34 AM
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