According to the Patch, a massage therapist who worked at Salons by JC has been accused of sexually assaulting a client.
Michael Morris, 53-years-old, was arrested on the charges of sexual battery. The victim said Morris had never been appropriate during her massages in the past.
During this massage, he asked if she would like a “yoni massage,” she replied she didn’t know that type of massage but “trusted him,” police reported. He then massaged her groin and digitally penetrated her vagina. The victim reported hearing him unzip his pants. After 15 minutes of this type of massage, he asked her to flip over and continued with a regular massage for 10 minutes. The victim reported the interaction to the salon manager before going to the police.
Following the allegations, his license was restricted, but he is still permitted to practice in Florida. Sarasota police continue their investigation into the massage therapist.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, represents victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. Below, Michael provides legal commentary on the rights of victims sexually assaulted in a massage salon.
"Across the United States, the massage industry struggles with sexual assault because the client is extremely vulnerable. This abuse of easy access to clients is seen as hundreds have reported being sexually assaulted in a massage parlor. Victims abused by masseuses in a spa or parlor should know they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the business."
"Massage parlors, spas, or salons have a legal obligation to uphold their clients’ safety and provide a safe environment. Businesses must ensure the therapists hired are trustworthy and qualified. If owners do not take proper precautions, they may be considered liable when a massage therapist sexually assaults a client. One example of negligence is if there have been misconduct complaints and the business does not increase security measures. If a victim’s lawyer proves the sexual abuse occurred due to negligence, the victim may have ground for a civil lawsuit."