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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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massage therapist sexual assault lawsuit

Massage therapy clients are uniquely vulnerable to sexual assault while lying face down, with little to no clothing, in rooms alone with their massage therapists. Clients usually assume they are in a safe, professional environment—until the therapist behaves criminally.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse by a massage therapist, you have legal options. Sexual assault at a massage parlor or during a spa treatment gives you the right to go to civil court and obtain financial compensation.

Speak to the sexual abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to discuss what happened during a free case review. Our attorneys can help review your potential massage therapist sexual assault lawsuit.

Massage Therapy Sexual Abuse FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions raised by people who have been sexually assaulted, abused, or raped by massage therapists.

We appreciate the sensitive nature of these matters. Consequently, we invite you to contact our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options for pursuing a civil claim.

What Happened at Massage Envy?

In July 2019, California prosecutors filed criminal charges arguing that Massage Envy negligently hired and supervised “five therapists accused by the plaintiffs.” Four female alleged sexual assault victims argued that massage therapists had molested them at multiple Massage Envy locations.

The women’s attorneys accused Massage Envy of “ignoring the risk of assault they posed to customers by allowing them to remain employed or transferring them to another franchise location.” The new charges came a year after previous allegations of inappropriate sexual activity in Florida involving therapists at five locations.

There are currently more than 1200 franchises across the United States, from New York to California.

Is There a Class Action Lawsuit against Massage Envy?

In April 2019, a Missouri law firm filed a Massage Envy class-action civil lawsuit that was later transferred to federal court. However, the allegations are not about inappropriate sexual activity.

Instead, the lawsuit allegations claimed that customers purchasing massages did not receive full benefits involving nonmember or introductory offers.

Is Massage Envy Legitimate?

Many consumers purchasing Massage Envy memberships felt conned by the organization at numerous locations where the therapist did not provide full benefits based on the contract.

Currently, Massage Envy operates over 1200 franchisees locations throughout the United States.

Is It Worth Joining a Class Action Suit?

Participating in a class-action suit is often the only option for receiving the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries without paying upfront fees. Participating in a class-action lawsuit helps avoid lawyer fees that are typically paid once the case is over.

A class-action suit will have only one judge and one court making one decision for all plaintiffs involved in the case. However, the results often include a uniform judgment for all plaintiffs with similar compensation amounts.

Alternatively, some personal injury attorneys specializing in victimization cases will provide the financial resources their clients need to file a case outside of the class action lawsuit. Filing a compensation claim separate from the class-action suit might result in higher compensation for the victim.

Why Would You Opt Out of a Class Action Lawsuit?

There are numerous reasons to avoid participating in a class-action lawsuit and bring a separate compensation claim apart from all the other plaintiffs with similar cases.

Filing a unique case might increase the amount of compensation you receive based on the traditional similar compensation amounts received by plaintiffs in a civil class-action suit.

Many times, the court system moves slowly when resolving class action suits. Alternatively, a state court claim will typically move more efficiently and quickly when only minimal plaintiffs are involved.

Are Happy Endings Legal in the United States?

Massage therapists providing ‘happy endings’ to customers where prostitution and brothels are illegal in nearly every state, including some Nevada areas, are crimes. Happy endings during the massage session involve the therapists assisting the consumer with sexually climaxing.

In nearly all jurisdictions, local law enforcement will hold masseuses criminally accountable for inappropriate sexual contact, even when all parties consent to the activity.

When is Touching Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault claims involving a therapist can be tricky. Unlike other environments, it is expected (and acceptable) for the massage therapist to touch the client’s bare body. It is not normal, however, for the therapist to engage in unwelcome sexual touching.

Where the law draws the line between a massage service and assault likely varies between states, but it usually crosses over into criminal assault when the therapist commits an act of penetration, forces or intimidates a client into sexual acts, or knows the client cannot understand the nature of the act or give knowing consent, or if the victim is under eighteen years old.

A massage therapist should never touch your genitals and should not even come within a few inches of your private area. You should always be in control of where the therapist touches you and what happens during the session.

Understanding whether you have been the victim of an assault at a massage therapy location might require an investigation of the incident. If a therapist violated you, contact a sexual assault attorney right away.

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, report the sexual misconduct incident involving inappropriate touching to the establishment’s owner if possible, then to the police.

Local law enforcement will write a police report, investigate, and possibly arrest the sex abuse perpetrator. Go to the hospital if you have any injuries related to the incident.

Then consult an attorney who can explain your legal rights. You have the right to seek compensation via the civil courts as the victim of an assault by a massage therapist.

Filing a sexual assault lawsuit against the therapist, the business, and other parties can result in significant compensation for your losses. A qualified sex abuse injury attorney has the resources to take legal action against a massage therapist, franchisee, or company and their insurance providers.

Damages Available in a Civil Lawsuit Against a Masseuse or Massage Therapist

A civil lawsuit is different from criminal prosecution by the state and seeks to obtain financial compensation to resolve sexual harassment, inappropriate sexual touching, intercourse, or assault cases.

The amount awarded varies from case to case, but the damages available remain relatively the same:

  • Past and future medical care if the assault caused you physical injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and psychological trauma
  • Lost wages if you had to miss time from work to seek treatment or counseling
  • Punitive damages, which are additional amounts awarded by a judge to punish the defendant for intentional wrongdoing

Sexual abuse could traumatize the victim no matter where it happens. While a civil lawsuit cannot change what happened, it can provide victims with some degree of closure and financial security in the future.

If you were sexually assaulted, you could receive thousands of dollars in financial compensation for your harm. Your lawsuit could shed light on criminal activity at a local massage parlor or spa and bring the perpetrator to justice.

An attorney working on your behalf can provide legal advice and build the case proving the massage company’s failure to perform background checks before hiring a massage therapist.

Hire a Sexual Abuse Lawyer to Prove Your Case Massage Therapy Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Obtaining a settlement or verdict for massage therapist sexual assault requires proving that the defendant breached their duty of care and caused your damages.

sexual abuse lawyer will investigate and build your case while you focus on healing from your trauma. For the best chances of success, let Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers go to work for you.

Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) and speak to a real person to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.

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