Massage Envy mishandled sexual assault claims, women say

Wendy Jensen
November 28, 2017

BuzzFeed reported Sunday that more than 180 women have filed police reports, complaints to state boards and lawsuits in civil court over the years against Massage Envy, a franchise that claims almost 1,200 locations across 49 states.

An investigation by BuzzFeed News found more than 180 women have accused therapists at Massage Envy of groping and other sexual acts.

The investigative report from Buzzfeed News highlights how the nation's largest massage spa chain trains the massage therapists and how the company is handling the disturbing allegations.

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

Massage Envy released a statement addressing the allegations, saying in part, "Each of these incidents are heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate massage envy locations". According to local NBC affiliate WFML, Deiter has since received prison time after pleading guilty to molesting nine women during massages.

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"I was really in a state of shock, disbelief, fear", Ingram said.

She noted on the show how the Massage Envy therapist leaned over and whispered "our little secret" after violating her at the end of a 90-minute massage at the Willow Lawn location in 2015.

Massage Envy is now reviewing their policies, USA Today reported. Still, it said even one incident is too many, reports CBS News' Meg Oliver. "She said she could not do that, and she invited me in to talk about my services".

Women have come forward in droves to accuse massage workers in the United States of sexual assault, according to a report published Sunday.

"It should be something that they should train for and have an understanding of how to respond", Ingram said.

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"My friend told me because she knew I had a massage here".

Adam Horowitz, A lawyer who has worked on two dozen cases against Massage Envy says the actual number of assaults is likely much higher than what has been reported.

"Franchisees are required to report inappropriate conduct to the state licensing boards that require it", the company said.

Public records indicate Philip Proetto owns the Upper East Side franchise, but Proetto declined to comment, referring questions to Massage Envy's corporate offices, which has not provided a statement.

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