According to WSVN, a man was accused of inappropriately touching a pregnant woman during a massage at Oriental Massage located at 2921 Stirling Rd A, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312.
Police were alerted to the sexual assault that occurred in October 2022 by a pregnant woman. She claimed that during a massage at the spa, 57-year-old Jianan Cheng asked her if it was okay to massage certain areas but instead began touching the woman's breast without her consent. The victim asked the masseur to stop touching her breasts, but he kept touching them. According to the affidavit, the victim grabbed Cheng's hands and told him no when he began touching other private areas. The victim claimed she ended the massage when the suspect took the victim's hand, placing it on his private parts. The victim tried to report Cheng's actions to the spa's staff, but they said they couldn't comprehend her.
During the investigation, it was revealed that Cheng is not licensed to perform massages in Florida. Investigators also learned of an incident in July of 2022 where Cheng allegedly sexually assaulted another female client. He was charged with sexual battery, practicing healthcare without a license, and performing massages without a license.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard is an experienced sexual assault lawyer who has represented victims throughout the state of Florida. Michael sat down to answer the most common questions that victims of sexual assault ask: "Can I sue for being sexually assaulted by a masseur?"
"The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, such as the state where the assault occurred, the type of massage being performed, and the circumstances of the assault. Generally speaking, if a massage therapist did the massage, the victim may be able to sue the therapist or the business that employed them."
"In order to successfully sue, the victim must show that the spa owner was negligent and failed to provide a safe and secure environment. Additionally, the victim must be able to prove that the assault was a direct result of the massage therapist's negligence. This means that the victim must provide evidence that the spa owner was aware of the risk of assault but neglected to take steps to prevent it. This could include failing to do a background check on the masseur, failing to ensure they were properly trained and licensed, or failing to act on previous reports of inappropriate behavior."
"It's important that victims of sexual abuse seek legal advice and guidance. An experienced attorney can help them understand their rights and determine if they have a valid legal claim. Often, they may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional harm caused by the assault."