According to WFLA, a massage therapist has been accused of inappropriately touching a female client during a massage at the Massage Envy located at 5020 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703.
The victim claims that on August 2, 2022, 51-year-old Leonard Manuel Lopez De La Torre reached under the sheet during the massage and grabbed her breast. Torre was arrested on Monday, August 8, 2022. He has been charged with battery.
Legal Herald attorney contributor Michael Haggard is a lawyer for victims of sexual abuse during massages. Michael represents victims in the state of Florida in civil lawsuits helping them get the justice they deserve. Recently, he discussed the legal rights available for victims sexually abused by a massage therapist.
"Recently, many massage therapists have been accused of sexual abuse at spas and massage establishments. Too often, massage therapists misuse their position of trust to violate their clients' boundaries for their own sexual gratification. Massage sexual abuse, including inappropriate touching during a massage, are crimes, and the perpetrator must be held accountable. However, the abuse is often allowed to occur due to the lack of security by the spa or massage establishment."
"Massage parlor and spa owners have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their clients during these vulnerable sessions. They must make sure that each massage therapist is fully qualified and has passed a background check that looks for past reports of misconduct. If the owners do not implement a basic safety plan, they could be held liable."
"Furthermore, if a massage therapist had a history of misconduct yet was permitted access to clients, the massage establishment could be deemed negligent. Victims sexually abused by a massage therapist should consult with an experienced attorney to learn more about their option to file a civil lawsuit."