Massage Envy accused in over 180 sexual assaults
- Author: Stacy Houston Nov 28, 2017,
Nov 28, 2017, 1:04
"She said in a very apparently scripted response, 'We invite you in to talk about your services.' And I said, 'No, no, no you don't understand, '" Ingram said. One California woman also said she was sexually assaulted during a prenatal massage.
BuzzFeed reported Sunday that more than 180 women have filed police reports, complaints to state boards and lawsuits in civil court over the years against Massage Envy, a franchise that claims almost 1,200 locations across 49 states. The bombshell report, published yesterday by BuzzFeed News, not only cites firsthand accounts from some of the accusers―including reports of groping and digital and oral penetration―but also provides evidence that the billion-dollar chain enabled the abuse to continue with its gross negligence.
Massage Envy said in a statement, the incidents described in the report were "heartbreaking".
Massage Envy says any violation of its zero-tolerance policy by a therapist requires termination. Customers of "Massage Envy" say they were assaulted by massage therapists.
"It's terrible to be assaulted when you're in a very vulnerable position, but I think that for some women it's even worse to go and report what happened to you and not have it taken seriously", said BuzzFeed reporter Katie Baker.
Keurig users are smashing their coffee makers in support of Fox News
Hannity later backstepped on those comments, saying he "misspoke," but continued to say that the accusers may be lying for money. More than 30 million Keurig coffee machines were sold between 2012-2015 alone, according to company financial statements.
She told CBS News that she was groped "roughly and aggressively" by Deiter, noting that she was "really in a state of shock, disbelief, fear". "That's why we will never stop reinforcing to our franchisees the importance of a safe environment". Others say managers dismissed the claims, offered them refunds or told them not to file police reports.
Numerous lawsuits against Massage Envy are being filed as a Buzzfeed investigation revealed 180 allegations of sexual assault.
Attorney Adam Horowitz, who has represented several accusers against Massage Envy, said it is company-wide problem. Still, it said even one incident is too many, reports CBS News' Meg Oliver.
The company, in an email to USA TODAY, said it recommends franchisees "support and assist clients who choose" to report assaults to police.
The company declined to comment on specific points made by BuzzFeed, but Melanie Hansen, general counsel of Massage Envy Franchising, said the company has "stringent, rigorous policies" for hiring, screening and training massage therapists.