Massage Envy therapists accused of sexually assaulting over 180 women

Nov 28, 2017, 01:03
Massage Envy therapists accused of sexually assaulting over 180 women

Most of the victims allege that the company offered a refund or were told not to file a police report when they came forward, but many felt their claims were ignored or mishandled.

According to BuzzFeed News, Ingram is just one of more than 180 women who "have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints against Massage Envy spas, their employees, and the national company". She says she was sexually assaulted while getting a complimentary massage. BuzzFeed News reports that when authorities went to speak with Deiter later that day, he confessed to not only assaulting her but nine other women, explaining he needed help.

ABC News also reported that another woman is suing for more than $2 million after she says a massage therapist grabbed her head and put his hands over her mouth and assaulted her.

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Ingram reported the incident less than an hour later to the location's manager, who refused to interrupt Deiter's session with another female client or connect her with the spa's owner.

There are 36 Massage Envy locations in the Boston area, according to the company's website. "She said in a very apparently scripted response, 'We invite you in to talk about your services.' And I said, 'No, no, no you don't understand, '" Ingram told CBS News.

The alleged assaults by Massage Envy employees reportedly occurred at locations across the country - the billion-dollar business owns just under 1,200 franchises in the USA, with 40 locations in the Bay Area - and the reports range from digital and oral penetration to the groping of breasts and genitals.

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"I mean, you know, they're kind of like Publix", she said, "You see them everywhere".

"They don't mandate that all their franchises report incidents of sexual assault to law enforcement", Horowitz said.

"Massage Envy is a partner in crime", Ingram said. "They had every opportunity, on multiple occasions, to remove [Deiter] from his position, and they chose not to".

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Massage Envy, a billion dollar franchise with more than 1,100 franchises in 49 states and more than 20,000 employees, released a statement to address the allegations. "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".