Published: Tue, November 28, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Women Come Forward In Droves To Accuse Massage Workers Of Sexual Assault

Women Come Forward In Droves To Accuse Massage Workers Of Sexual Assault

Even more troubling there were reports of assault at Massage Envy franchises from California to New Jersey, but now the online outlet BuzzFeed says it found more than 180 reports at the chain across the nation.

The story alleges at least 180 women have filed sexual assault civil suits, police reports or complaints to state boards against the company, its franchisees or employees. Numerous lawsuits claim the reports were ignored or mishandled by the company.

Several of the female accusers have issued complaints to management of Massage Envy - which operates more than 1,200 spas across the country - about the alleged assault that they have experienced. Meanwhile, Melanie Hansen, general counsel of Massage Envy Franchising, was cited as saying the company had worked to create the industry's "most stringent, rigorous policies" for hiring, screening, and training therapists.

Over the past 15 years, Massage Envy has given over 125 million massages, gaining a reputation as one of the most well-known massage parlors around. After leaving the spa, she called the Massage Envy location where it occurred to inform them of what had happened.

After calling the spa to report an assault in which her massage therapist, James Dieter (who has since pled guilty to assaulting nine women), groped her and rubbed his erect penis on her, Susan Ingram says a manager refused to interrupt Deiter's massage session.

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

A Scottsdale based company faces serious allegations of sexual assault.

There is one Massage Envy location in the Quad Cities metro area, on Elmore Avenue in Davenport.

In Deiter's case, two women tried to warn the franchise about inappropriate behavior before Ingram was assaulted, BuzzFeed reports. "That's why we will never stop reinforcing to our franchisees the importance of a safe environment".

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

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