Police in East Whiteland have arrested and charged a chiropractor and massage therapist from Health First Centers with two counts of indecent assault after a former customer accused him of sexual assault during two massage appointments. A woman told police that Thomas Miles touched her breasts during an exam at Health First Centers at 74 Malin Road in Malvern.
The victim said that she had been a client of Miles for many years. She said that during a therapeutic massage in June 2017, Miles’ hands moved from her neck and upper chest area and touched her breasts. He allegedly referred to the massage as “more exotic” after it was over. The victim says that he had used this phrase before, but never touched her inappropriately before that day.
The victim says that she initially believed Miles touched her breasts accidentally. But when she returned for another appointment in July 2017, Miles allegedly removed a privacy drape and massaged her breasts.
Unfortunately, stories like this one have become somewhat commonplace across the United States. In late 2017, BuzzFeed News published an investigative report that found more than 180 complaints of sexual assault by massage therapists at the nationwide chain Massage Envy. In the past week, three more lawsuits were filed against the same company, with 20 women alleging that massage therapists sexually assaulted them at locations in California, Florida, and New Jersey. Additionally, dozens of other victims have been sexually assaulted by massage therapists at smaller massage businesses.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent has a long history of representing victims sexually assaulted by a massage therapist. We’ve asked him to discuss the legal options available to survivors of sexual assault by massage therapists:
Massage therapy is built on trust. Clients are in vulnerable positions and must be able to trust that their massage therapist is an honorable person who will conduct themselves professionally. Unfortunately, this profession also has a high potential for abuse. Sometimes, sexual predators seek these positions so that they will be able to violate their clients’ trust and sexually assault them.
When this happens, the victims deserve justice. Contacting the police is a vital first step, as making sure the perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted can help prevent other incidents of abuse. Additionally, victims should consider their options in the civil court system. In many cases, victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the owner of the facility where they were assaulted.
If you’ve been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist and are curious about your legal options, we advise discussing your case with an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer.