Massage Envy Accused of Sexual Assault By More Than 180 Women

More than 180 women have accused a popular national chain of spas of sexual assault.

The customers of Massage Envy say massage therapists groped and penetrated them during treatments.

In many cases, women who complained to Massage Envy management about an alleged assault said they were stonewalled. In general, the company does not require its franchises to notify law enforcement when an allegation of sexual assault is made.

In one case, Susan Ingram, of West Chester, Pa., said massage therapist James Deiter sexually assaulted her in May 2015. An hour after the assault, she called the Massage Envy location where the attack occurred. But the manager who answered the phone, identified only as Nicole, declined to interrupt Deiter’s ongoing massage of another client.

Ingram called the cops and the man ’fessed up, eventually pleading guilty to molesting nine women. He was sentenced last year to 6 1/2 to 13 years in prison.

The company said in a statement: “Each of these incidents are heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate Massage Envy locations. We are constantly listening, learning and looking at how we can do more, including how we support franchised locations with best practices in handling these incidents and supporting their clients.”

Massage Envy has 1,170 franchise locations in 49 states, according to its website.

Some Massage Envy staff told BuzzFeed they believed the policies on sexual assault were designed to protect the quickly growing company’s image.

The company requires that franchisees do a “prompt, fair and thorough” investigation of sex assault allegations, but reportedly provides no further guidance. STORY HERE


 

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