Last Updated: 7/14/2020
Lawyer Comments: Laurence Banville is a lawyer for sexual assault by massage therapists and will discuss lawsuits against spas and massage studios in the second part of this article.
In the summer of 2019, 34-year-old massage therapist Matthew Widener pleaded guilty to 11 counts of forcible touching and sexual abuse after six women accused him of sexually abusing them during massages.
The sexual assaults happened at two locations – Karasmatic Day Spa in Bayport and Elements Massage in Smithtown.
Widener worked at Karasmatic Day Spa for approximately a year leading up to his arrest and at Elements Massage from June 2013 to December 2017. He was fired from Karasmatic after ownership was notified of the allegations against him.
Widener was sentenced on August 6, but no information is publicly available regarding that sentence. However, he faced jail time and was expected to be ordered to register as a sex offender.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville represents massage therapy sexual assault victims in civil lawsuits against spas and massage studios. Laurence has offered to add some legal commentary on the legal rights of these victims:
The massage therapy industry has widespread issues with sexual assault. All across the United States, there have been hundreds of reports of massage therapists sexually assaulting their clients. These victims have legal rights and many have exercised these rights by filing civil sexual assault lawsuits against spas and massage studios.
The owners of these businesses are responsible for making sure their massage therapists can be trusted and that their clients are safe. When a massage therapist is arrested for sexually assaulting a client, we should consider whether the assault was preventable and whether it happened due to negligence by the spa owner.
If you or a loved one is a victim of massage therapy sexual assault, our experienced sexual assault victims lawyers are prepared to help you fight for justice. You can learn more about your legal options by discussing your case with us in a free consultation.