A massage therapist at a Mercer County spa has been arrested following allegations that he sexually assaulted a customer during a massage session.40-year-old Asmar Berry has been accused of inappropriately touching a woman while he was working at Renewed Spa Massage in Pennington in September. Prosecutors say that Berry touched the woman’s private parts without her consent.
Berry has been charged with several offenses, including one count of second-degree sexual assault and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. The sexual assault charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Berry was released pending his next appearance in court. The Mercer County prosecutor’s office has said that the investigation into these allegations is ongoing.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent specializes in helping the survivors of sexual violence find justice through the civil court system. We have asked him to add some insight into the options for legal recourse available to those who have been sexually assaulted by massage therapists:
Over the past year, media reports have revealed that sexual assault by massage therapists has become a nationwide epidemic. A BuzzFeed News report found that nationwide chain Massage Envy had been the subject of over 180 complaints of sexual assault. However, survivors have been fighting back by taking legal action against the companies responsible for failing to keep their customers safe.
Massage Envy has been sued several times, including three lawsuits filed by the law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent. In some cases, massage facilities were negligent in a way that enabled the sexual assault to occur. An example would be a business allowing a massage therapist to continue seeing customers even after previous allegations of sexual misconduct.
If you’ve been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist, you have legal rights. You can learn more about your options by speaking to one of our experienced massage therapy sexual assault lawyer.