A massage therapist at the Pearl Spa in Fulton has been accused of sexually assaulting a client during a massage. 27-year-old Gene Coxson was arrested last week and suspended from Pearl Spa. He has been charged with second-degree assault in a sexual offense.
The victim told police that Coxson touched her inappropriately during a massage at Pearl Spa on September 25. She also said that she told him to stop, reported the assault to the spa, and called the police.
Howard County Police believe that there may be other victims who have experienced similar assaults. They are encouraging anyone with information or who would like to report an assault by Coson to call 410-313-STOP or email HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.
Massage therapy has become much more popular over the past couple of decades. And according to a Buzzfeed News investigative report from 2017, this surge in popularity has also led to many reports of sexual misconduct allegedly committed by massage therapists. Reporters found over 180 complaints of sexual misconduct at Massage Envy locations, including those reported to management and the police, as well as lawsuits. Dozens of other victims have since come forward with their own stories of sexual assault at the hands of massage therapists.
Aaron Blank is an attorney with a long history of representing sexual assault survivors, including those who have been assaulted by massage therapists. We’ve asked him to discuss the options for legal recourse available to these survivors and those looking for more information on massage therapist sexual assault lawsuits:
When we visit a licensed massage business, we trust that the massage therapist we see during our appointment will be respectful and professional. But as recent headlines have revealed, some massage therapists are sexual predators who abuse the trust of their customers by sexually assaulting them. When this happens, both the perpetrator and their employer may be held accountable, depending on circumstances.
While the criminal justice system will handle the prosecution of the perpetrator, victims may also find justice in the civil court system. In cases where the company or business was negligent in a way that failed to prevent the assault, victims may have grounds for a lawsuit. For example, a massage business may be considered negligent for failing to report previous allegations of sexual misconduct to the police.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist and you’d like to learn more about your legal options, consider speaking to an experienced sexual assault survivors attorney.