Police Charge Massage Therapist At Blooming Nails & Spa With Sexual Assault
Police in North Haledon arrested a massage therapist from a local nail salon after a customer accused him of sexually assaulting her during a massage appointment. 62-year-old Chun Li was confronted by the alleged victim and her family member on Friday and he fled from the salon. Lt. Marc Rowe tracked down the suspect later that same day near the entrance to Route 208 South in Hawthorne.
The victim contacted police at around 3:15 p.m. on Friday and said that Li touched her inappropriately during a one-hour massage. Li has been charged with sexual assault and criminal sexual contact. His next court appearance is scheduled at Central Judicial Processing Court of Passaic County in Paterson next week.
Is Massage Therapist Sexual Assault A Common Problem?
Unfortunately, cases of massage therapists sexually assaulting their clients make headlines on a regular basis in the United States. In a BuzzFeed investigation into the nationwide chain Massage Envy, reporters found that over 180 individuals have filed complaints of sexual assault against that one company. There are countless other examples from smaller and independent massage facilities throughout the country.
Legal Recourse For Victims of Sexual Assault by Massage Therapists
Attorney Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com has extensive experience defending survivors of sexual assault, including cases involving massage therapists. Here are some of his thoughts on how both the criminal justice and civil court systems can help survivors:
The police and criminal justice system handle the prosecution of sexual predators, but it’s also important to determine if any third parties allowed the crime to occur through negligence. Sometimes, employers fail to meet their legal obligation to protect their customers from sexual assault. Survivors of sexual assault by massage therapists often have grounds for a lawsuit against the perpetrator’s employer.
Some common forms of negligence which could result in liability for a massage facility include:
- Failure to run a background check before hiring an employee with a history of sexual misconduct
- Improperly responding to complaints of sexual assault (i.e. not contacting police)
- Allowing a massage therapist with previous sexual misconduct allegations to continue working
There are just a few common examples of negligence. If you’ve been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist, you can learn more about how the legal system can help you by speaking with an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer.