Massage Therapist Accused of Sexual Assaults at Mall St. Matthews
A massage therapist who was working at The Relax Place at Mall St. Matthews was arrested last Friday for allegedly sexually assaulting two clients over the course of several weeks.
St. Matthews police have arrested 55-year-old Wankun Chen and charged him with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, and bribing a witness. Police say Chen improperly touched two women while giving them massages on December 30, 2018, and March 5, 2019.
During the massage on December 30, Chen has been accused of forcing a customer to touch his genitalia. The victim said that he then grabbed her wrist while she was holding a towel in front of her, causing the towel to drop and expose her. This victim reported the incident to St. Matthews Police a few days later.
In the March 5 incident, the victim says Chen pulled down her underwear and put his finger in her private area. The victim told Chen to stop and began gathering her clothing to leave. Chen took out his wallet and showed her cash inside, which the victim believed was an attempt to bribe her into not reporting the assault.
Chen was arraigned in Jefferson District Court on March 30 and posted a $10,000 full cash bond. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 9.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Massage Therapist Sexual Assault
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents sexual assault survivors in civil lawsuits. His law firm, Laffey, Bucci & Kent, has helped survivors of massage therapist sexual assault file lawsuits against nationwide chain Massage Envy. Here are some of Brian’s thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been sexually assaulted by massage therapists:
In a business like massage therapy, it’s crucial that the employees are trustworthy individuals. Customers place their trust in these employees and expect to be treated with respect. But unfortunately, this field has a high potential for abuse as employees and customers are alone behind closed doors while the customers are in vulnerable positions. There have been hundreds of reported sexual assaults by massage therapists across the country.
Survivors of massage therapist sexual assault deserve justice. In many cases, the business where the assault occurred is also partially responsible for failing to keep their customers safe. For example, a massage therapy facility might be considered negligent if they had ignored previous complaints of sexual misconduct by a massage therapist. In cases involving negligence, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If you or someone you love has been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual assault survivors attorney.