In December, a third victim came forward with allegations of sexual abuse by the owner of FIT RxN, a popular gym on the Upper West Side. 40-year-old Raymond Wallace appeared in court on December 4 to face these new charges, already having two open cases involving other victims.
The first victim was a 30-year-old woman who told police that Wallace had groped and kissed her without consent inside of the gym on October 4, 2017. Wallace was arrested in late May based on these allegations.
In June 2018, a 16-year-old girl contacted police and told them that Wallace had pressed his groin against her and squeezed her butt during workout classes in fall 2017.
The third victim is a 34-year-old woman who was a personal training client of Wallace. She told the authorities that Wallace had engaged in unwanted touching of her lips, breasts, and buttocks.
Wallace has been charged with several counts of misdemeanor sex abuse, forcible touching, and harassment in connection with these three cases.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville represents survivors in civil lawsuits against sexual assault at gyms. Here is some insight from Laurence regarding the legal options available to survivors of sexual assault in gyms, martial arts studios, and other businesses:
In any professional relationship, there needs to be trust between the professional and their clients. But in many professional fields, there are sexual predators who take advantage of this trust and commit disgusting acts of sexual assault. When this happens, the perpetrator must be arrested and prosecuted and the victims must get the support they deserve. Additionally, it’s important to determine if the business was negligent in a way that allowed the assault to happen.
For example, the owner of a gym might be considered negligent for the sexual abuse of a customer if the employee/abuser had a history of sexual misconduct but was hired anyway. If the abuser was the gym owner himself, the gym might also be considered negligent. Cases of sexual abuse that involve negligence often result in lawsuits by the victims.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by an employee of a gym or another business, our experienced sexual assault survivors lawyers want to help you find justice. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.