Massage Envy faces sexual misconduct allegations

Over 180 Women Have Accused Massage Envy Employees of Sexual Assault

A former Massage Envy masseuse in Greenville had his license revoked earlier this year, over a sexual assault claim.

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

The alleged assaults by Massage Envy employees reportedly occurred at locations across the country - the billion-dollar business owns just under 1,200 franchises in the USA, with 40 locations in the Bay Area - and the reports range from digital and oral penetration to the groping of breasts and genitals.

Massage Envy is now reviewing their policies, USA Today reported.

Sadly, many other claims surface in Buzzfeed's report, which also touches upon Massage Envy's inability to provide much comment on the allegations for legal reasons.

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.

The chain also told USA Today that it recommends franchisees "support and enlist clients who choose to report assaults to police".

"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".

There are more than 1,100 total Massage Envy locations serving over 1.5 million members.

According to the investigation, more than 180 customers have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports or complaints against the national company, individual franchised spas and their employees.

Franchise owners are given little guidance in this regard, BuzzFeed claims, with the exception of a training video called "Behind Closed Doors", which advises therapists to address their guest's concerns "in a safe and secure environment in order to retain them as a valued client and avoid negative attention". Some locations continue to keep abusers on staff, while others have quietly fired accused therapists without reporting them to police, allowing them to move on in their careers without repercussions.

Several of the female accusers have issued complaints to management of Massage Envy - which operates more than 1,200 spas across the country - about the alleged assault that they have experienced.

The Post reported at the time that the company said its franchises are required to complete extensive background and reference checks and enforce a zero-tolerance policy.

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