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Massage Envy facing allegations of sexual assault by clients
29 November 2017, 01:07 | Denise Dawson
Dozens accuse massage therapists at large franchise of sexual misconduct
Massage Envy, the nation's largest massage franchise, says it is planning to "strengthen" its policies after more than 180 women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against the company's massage therapists and managers.
"Go to your vehicle", she said.
Upon their seventh meeting, Ingram had felt relaxed enough with Deiter that she could close her eyes and let all her stressors be worked out, although it was here that Deiter proceeded to aggressively grope her breasts, rub his erect phallus against her body, and stick his fingers into her privates.
Women have reported being groped and digitally penetrated.
Last month, a Richmond, Virginia woman, who says she was assaulted, started a Change.org petition calling on the company to support individuals allegedly sexually assaulted at their stores.
The company said in a statement released Sunday that every incident was "heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate Massage Envy locations". One Oregon woman said her massage therapist forced his entire fist into her vagina before ejaculating in her face.
Massage Envy has more than 1,000 franchise locations, including several in North Texas.
Ingram, who had detailed the incident in court, said that once she got home from the spa that day in 2015, she called back to speak to a manager but was ignored. When arrested, he reportedly admitted that he "needed help" during questioning by police. "It's why we are constantly listening, learning and looking at how we can do more".
"It should be something that they should train for and have an understanding of how to respond", Ingram said.
"Massage Envy told BuzzFeed News that it would not be "appropriate to respond point-by-point" to questions "because of pending litigation" and the confidential documents involved".
After five years, Kandice Martellaro says she can't shake the anger over what happened to her at Massage Envy and how it was handled.
The incidents were reported at franchises nationwide, from California to New Jersey.
Meanwhile, therapists accused of sexual misconduct are remaining at Massage Envy or being quietly fired without being reported to professional regulatory boards, which means they can easily go on to another spa with a sparkling clean record.
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