More Than 180 Women Have Accused Massage Envy Therapists Of Sexual Assaults

Massage Envy Times Square pop-up. Image via AP

Almost 200 women have accused massage therapists at popular spa chain Massage Envy of sexual assault.

The report found Ingram is among some 180 people who filed sexual misconduct complaints or lawsuits against Massage Envy employees at locations nationwide.

However, it turns out a number of those massages have crossed the line, and now 180 women are coming out with accusations stating they were sexually assaulted while under the parlor's care.

After calling the spa to report an assault in which her massage therapist, James Dieter (who has since pled guilty to assaulting nine women), groped her and rubbed his erect penis on her, Susan Ingram says a manager refused to interrupt Deiter's massage session. Still, lawyers for aggrieved spa clients told BuzzFeed News that there are more cases where women report abuse by massage therapists to police but no arrest is made, and that Massage Envy spas sometimes offer a settlement before a suit is filed, leaving no public record. "These occurred over a span of 15 plus years and 125 million massages". But although Massage Envy provides training and sets operational standards, it argues that since each franchise is independently operated, the parent company shouldn't be liable in such cases. "She said she could not do that, and she invited me in to talk about my services".

The victims according to the findings say they reported the assault to management but authorities were never contacted.

"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".

Ingram added that she later informed the manager about his behavior, only to be told that she was welcome to return to the massage parlor to discuss the incident.

She helped draft federal legislation that would require massage spas to report sexual assault allegations to police. "It's why we are constantly listening, learning and looking at how we can do more, including how we support franchised locations with best practices in handling these incidents and supporting their clients".

There are now five Massage Envy locations in Colorado.

Many victims say the company's response was insulting.

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