According to NBC Chicago, two women have filed lawsuits against the spa company Massage Envy in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. The women claim their massage therapist sexually assaulted them.
One plaintiff claims the therapist disrobed her, exposing her bottom half and touching her buttocks and genitalia without her consent. The second plaintiff claimed the same therapist disrobed her exposing her breasts, and began aggressively touching her buttocks without her consent.
The lawsuits name Massage Envy and the location manager alleging the manager was aware of the first incident before the second incident occurred. Massage Envy claims they could not comment on the pending allegations or litigation.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, has represented numerous victims of sexual assault in civil lawsuits. In an interview, Brian provided the following insight into the legal rights of victims sexually assaulted in a massage spa.
“There have been reports of widespread issues in the massage therapy industry with sexual assault as clients are vulnerable to their massage therapists’ easy access. Clients have reported hundreds of masseuses for sexual assault across the county. Victims who have been sexually assaulted in massage parlors should know their rights. These victims may have grounds to sue the spa where they were assaulted.”
“Massage spa owners have a legal obligation to uphold their client's safety. These owners must ensure the therapists working are trustworthy and qualified. Spas may be held liable if a masseuse sexually assaults a client and the spa is proven to be negligent. One example of negligence is if previous complaints were made against a masseuse, and they were permitted to keep working. If a victim’s lawyer can prove the crime was a result of negligence on behalf of the spa owner, the victim may have ground for a civil lawsuit and receive compensation for damages.”