Massage Envy facing assault allegations

Nov 28, 2017, 01:02
Massage Envy facing assault allegations

A new report by the website, Buzzfeed.com, reports in graphic detail disturbing allegations of sexual assault the massage therapy chain.

Women have reported being groped and digitally penetrated. The report alleges the billion dollar spa chain and its franchisees mishandled or ignored these cases and many more. She then called the police, who later brought Deiter in for an interview, where he admitted that he needed "help".

"Dozens of women reported digital and oral penetration", wrote BuzzFeed.

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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.

In Deiter's case, two women tried to warn the franchise about inappropriate behavior before Ingram was assaulted, BuzzFeed reports.

The exposé also included an agreement requiring franchisees to purchase insurance "that protects them and the national company against at least three sexual assault claims per year".

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Massage Envy does not require any of its locations to take steps to prevent or investigate sexual assault (except in a few states where local laws require it by law). Numerous women cited in the investigation reached out to law enforcement on their own, after they say Massage Envy failed to address their reports of assault.

Meanwhile, therapists accused of sexual misconduct are remaining at Massage Envy or being quietly fired without being reported to professional regulatory boards, which means they can easily go on to another spa with a sparkling clean record. The report cites incidents of groping and other violations.

"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. Still, it said even one incident is too many, reports CBS News' Meg Oliver.

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Ingram's account was one of many that highlighted the company's problematic neglect, even though the company claims to have "worked hard to create the industry's most stringent, rigorous policies" for hiring, screening, and training therapists. "We are constantly listening, learning and evaluating how we can continue to strengthen our policies with respect to handling of these issues".

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