According to California News-Times, a client was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist at Stretch Therapeutic Healing Spa, formerly Massage Plus Healing, located at 22942 Lyons Ave, Newhall, CA 91321.
The client came forward with the allegations against 56-year-old Jorge Panama in April 2021. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office for Special Victims has been investigating the masseuse. Apparently, previous charges were filed in 2018 for another alleged sexual assault incident, but the evidence was not substantial.
On September 1, 2021, Panama was apprehended from his Santa Clarita massage business. The detectives believe more victims may have been assaulted at the Stretch Therapeutic Healing Spa or when it was known as Massage Plus Healing.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson is an experienced sexual assault lawyer in California. Bobby has represented victims of sexual assault in civil lawsuits for years. During a recent interview, he provided his insight on the legal rights of victims sexually assaulted by a massage therapist.
"We have seen numerous sexual assault cases against massage therapists across the country. This widespread sexual assault issue within the massage industry shows how therapist use their position of power over vulnerable clients to abuse them. Victims sexually assaulted at a spa or massage parlor should employ the services of an experienced sexual assault attorney to explain their legal rights. In many cases, they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit."
"Massage parlor and spa owners are legally obligated to uphold their clients' safety while on the property. Therefore, owners should do their best to ensure the massage therapists are not only qualified but can pass a background check. If spa owners fail to implement these preventative measures, they could be found liable based on negligence if a sexual assault occurs. Another example of negligence would be if a massage therapist had previous misconduct complaints against them, yet they were allowed to continue to work with clients. If a victim's attorney proves the sexual assault occurred as a result of a spa owner's negligence, then the victim and their family could have sufficient grounds for a civil lawsuit."