Massage Envy facing allegations of sexual assault by clients

Massage Envy facing allegations of sexual assault by clients

Massage Envy, a chain of massage franchises in the USA, is facing allegations of sexual assault at numerous location, according to ABC News.

According to the investigation, more than 180 customers have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports or complaints against the national company, individual franchised spas and their employees.

Several other women also came forward to speak about similar encounters they allegedly had during spa and massage sessions at Massage Envy outlets.

According to a report from BuzzFeed News, the women say therapists at the popular chain groped them and committed other sexual acts. The incident took place during her seventh session with a highly-recommended masseur named James Deiter, who was reportedly in his 60s.

One of the accusers, identified as Susan Ingram, shared the harrowing details of her experience at her local Massage Envy in West Chester, Pennsylvania. "I felt broken.", Ingram said in an interview that aired Monday on The Today Show.

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.

"I think that some sort of serious audit needs to happen of the company and their protocol needs to be immensely changed", she said.

"It's terrible to be assaulted when you're in a very vulnerable position, but I think that for some women it's even worse to go and report what happened to you and not have it taken seriously", said BuzzFeed reporter Katie Baker.

"These claims represent only a sliver of the tens of millions of services Massage Envy says its franchises have provided".

The Post reported at the time that the company said its franchises are required to complete extensive background and reference checks and enforce a zero-tolerance policy.

According to the report, the chain told Buzzfeed it would not be "appropriate to respond point-by-point" to questions "because of pending litigation" and the confidential documents involved. The report published over the weekend comes amid a wave of sexual assault complaints against high-profile American men, which has compelled some companies to revisit their policies against workplace sexual misconduct.

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