In the midst of sexual assault allegations embroiling the nation from Hollywood to Capitol Hill, more than 180 women have just come forward with allegations of being sexually assaulted at Massage Envy spas, according to a report published by BuzzFeed News this week.
One Sacramento County woman is accusing the owners and a therapist at the Massage Envy franchise on Elk Grove-Florin Road in Elk Grove.
The woman asked NBC 7 not to disclose her name because she is still embarrassed and emotionally scarred by the alleged rape.
Last month, a Richmond, Virginia woman, who herself was assaulted, started a change.org petition calling on the company to support individuals sexually assaulted at their stores. Both women are taking their claims to court.
According to BuzzFeed News, the publication states it found allegations against the company's therapist nationwide. "Sit in your vehicle". And they wouldn't call police because the matter would be handled internally.
The piece begins with a graphic account by Susan Ingram, who brought a claim against massage therapist James Deiter after he reportedly "ground his erect penis" against her body before "put [ting] his fingers in and out of her vagina" in 2015. "Unfortunately, the temptation of having little or no clothes on in a dark room, for a man that is of questionable character, that might be too much of a temptation for him".
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The Oregon Board of Massage Therapists has revoked the licenses of Massage Envy therapists in Bend, Springfield and Portland since 2012, the state board told KGW. It is unclear if that revocation was related to the alleged rape.
Massage Envy does not require franchises to notify authorities of sexual assault complaints, unless required by local law.
Monday, we learned of 180 other allegations against Massage Envy franchises across the country.
In response to the Buzzfeed investigation and other reports, Massage Envy has called the incidents "heartbreaking" and said they occurred over 15 years among 125 million massages given by the business. "But, we believe that even ONE incident is too many, so we are constantly listening, learning, and evaluating how we can continue to strengthen our policies with respect to handling of these issues".
Massage Envy said they can't share their specific policy documents, but any reported would be investigated, and if the allegation is true, the therapist could be terminated.
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