Chicago Police have arrested a massage therapist from the University of Illinois at Chicago after two students accused him of sexually assaulting them during massage appointments. 52-year-old Curt Schultz has been charged with criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery for allegedly touching the genitals of two students during separate massage appointments.
One of the victims, a 32-year-old man, says that he told Schultz to focus on his upper back, but that Schultz instead gave him a full-body massage and allegedly touched the student inappropriately several times. The man says that Schultz touched his genitals several times. He reported this incident to campus police the next day, October 24.
The university released a public safety alert on Thursday, October 25. This prompted a 25-year-old male student to come forward with more allegations against Schultz, including accusations that Schultz touched his genitals repeatedly during a massage.
Schultz is scheduled to return to court on November 15.
Brian Kent, a university sexual abuse lawyer, specializes in representing the survivors of sexual violence and has helped dozens of massage therapist sexual assault survivors fight for their legal rights in civil court. Here are some of his thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been sexually assaulted by massage therapists:
Last year, a report by BuzzFeed News revealed the scope of the national problem of massage therapist sexual assault. At the time of that article, more than 180 people had reported sexual misconduct by employees of the nationwide chain Massage Envy. Countless others have been abused at other massage businesses, and since that article, dozens have taken legal action by filing lawsuits against these companies.
In some cases of massage therapist sexual assault, both the assaulter and their employer bear responsibility for the crime. Sometimes, massage therapy businesses are negligent in a way that enables abuse to occur. An example would be ignoring reports of sexual misconduct against a massage therapist and allowing that therapist to continue working, which eventually leads to others being sexually abused.
If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a massage therapist, we advise speaking to an experienced sexual assault survivor lawyer to learn more about your legal options.