Legal Opinion: In the second section of this article, massage therapy sexual assault victim lawyer Reed Martens discusses who is liable for sexual assault by a massage therapist.
A former massage therapist at Oasis Foot Spa and Massage in St. Peters was arrested in September 2019 for allegedly sexually assaulting a client during a massage. 61-year-old Xing Wu Zhang has been charged with two counts of second-degree sodomy.
A woman told police that Zhang sexually assaulted her for more than 90 minutes during a massage. She also said that he used a towel on the areas he assaulted her to remove any possible DNA evidence.
The victim told investigators that she wanted to leave the room but felt "paralyzed by fear" during the alleged assault and worried about what might happen if she did run from the room.
The alleged assault is believed to have occurred on September 13th. He is accused of sexually assaulting the woman with his fingers and mouth.
Sexual assault victim lawyer Reed Martens represents victims of massage therapy sexual assault in civil lawsuits against massage therapists and negligent spas. Reed has offered to add some commentary on the legal rights of these victims:
The massage therapy industry has widespread issues with sexual assault, as hundreds of clients have reported being sexually assaulted by massage therapists. The owners of spas and massage studios have a legal duty to take this crisis seriously and to do everything they can to protect their clients from becoming victims.
When a massage therapist is charged with sexually assaulting a client, both the massage therapist and the business should be investigated. Some of these crimes only happen due to negligence by the business owner - such as hiring a massage therapist with a history of sexual misconduct. If negligence was a contributing factor in an incident of massage therapist sexual assault, the victim may have grounds for a lawsuit against the business.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a massage therapist, you can learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation with one of our experienced sexual assault victims lawyers.