In a massage therapy environment, clients are vulnerable to sexual assaults and violence. They are often lying facedown, with little to no clothing, in rooms alone with their massage therapists. Clients often assume they are in safe, professional environments – until the massage therapist behaves in a criminal manner.
If you have been the victim of massage therapist sexual assault in Illinois, you have legal options. Speak to an attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for advice about your sexual assault case. Sexual assault at a massage parlor or during a spa treatment gives you the right to seek compensation in the civil courts. Our attorneys can help.
When is Touching Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault claims involving a massage therapist can be difficult to navigate. Unlike other environments, it is normal (and acceptable) for the massage therapist to touch the client’s body. It is not normal, however, for the therapist to engage in unwelcome sexual touching. Understanding where the law draws the line between massage and sexual assault takes a look at Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 11-1.20:
- A massage therapist commits criminal sexual assault if that person commits an act of sexual penetration and uses force or the threat of force. If a massage therapist forces or intimidates you into sexual acts, it is sexual assault.
- A massage therapist commits sexual assault if the therapist knows the client cannot understand the nature of the act or give knowing consent. Sexual conduct against someone with a disability who cannot give consent is sexual assault.
- A massage therapist commits sexual assault if he or she is the victim’s family member, and if the victim is under 18 years of age.
- A massage therapist commits sexual assault if the therapist is 17 or older and holds a position of trust, supervision, or authority over the victim, and the victim is between 13 and 18 years old.
These are the specific situations that constitute the crime of sexual assault in the state of Illinois. The state defines many other sex crimes as well, including rape, sexual abuse, harassment, and discrimination. Understanding whether you have been the victim of sexual assault at a massage therapy location may take an investigation of the incident.
What to do if You Suspect Massage Therapist Sexual Assault
If a massage therapist inappropriately touched or sexually assaulted you during a session, help is available. First, speak up about the incident to the company. File an official complaint if the massage therapist hurt or violated you during the massage. Then, contact the authorities and tell them about the crime. The police can conduct an investigation and may arrest the perpetrator.
Go to the hospital if you have any injuries relating to the sexual assault incident. Then, inform yourself of your rights with help from an attorney. A massage therapist should never touch your genitals. The professional should not even come within a few inches of your private area. You should always be in control of what the massage therapist touches and what the session consists of. If a therapist violated you, contact an attorney right away.
You have the right to seek compensation via the civil courts as the victim of sexual assault by a massage therapist. Filing a tort claim against the therapist, the business, and/or other parties can result in significant compensation for your losses. A lawyer can help you go up against a massage therapist or company and its insurance provider.
Damages Available in a Civil Lawsuit
A civil lawsuit is not the same as a criminal one. The city prosecutes a massage therapist or company with the goal of imposing a sentence as punishment. A victim pursues a civil lawsuit for financial compensation for his or her damages. The amount available changes from case to case, but the types of damages remain relatively the same:
- Past and future medical care. If the sexual assault caused you physical injuries or otherwise necessitated medical treatment, you could recover the costs of these expenses.
- Pain and suffering. A judge or jury could award noneconomic damages for your physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and psychological trauma relating to the crime.
- Lost wages. If you had to miss time from work to seek treatment or counseling, you could seek reimbursement for your lost income.
- Punitive damages. Many sexual assault civil lawsuits end in punitive damages for the victim. Punitive damages are additional awards a judge assigns to punish the defendant for intentional wrongdoing.
Massage therapist sexual assault can turn your life around. While a civil lawsuit cannot change what happened, it can provide financial security in the future. Your lawsuit can shed light on criminal activity at a local Chicago massage parlor or spa and bring the perpetrator to justice. You could also receive thousands of dollars in financial compensation for your harms.
Prove Your Case With Our Help
Obtaining a settlement or verdict for massage therapist sexual assault takes proving that the defendant breached a duty of care to you and caused your damages. A lawyer can shoulder this burden of proof while you focus on healing from your traumatic incident. Let Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC work on your case for the best odds of success. Contact us to start with a free consultation in Chicago.