'It's Mortifying': Massage Envy Sexual Assault Victim Speaks Out

29 November, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Dozens accuse massage therapists at large franchise of sexual misconduct

The largest massage franchise in the country is facing dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct.

Over the past 15 years, Massage Envy has given over 125 million massages, gaining a reputation as one of the most well-known massage parlors around. "He pulled my underwear down to my ankles..."

"In the few states that do not require licensure or certification, Massage Envy has set a hiring standard for the franchise network that is consistent with the prevailing requirements in other states".

This not an isolated story.

While there have been no complaints at Jacksonville Massage Envy locations, seven counts of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault are pending against Qiting Duan, a former therapist at Body and Sole at the Avenues Mall. "He lifted me up from underneath, aggressively handled my breasts and proceeded to penetrate me with his fingers". "Put his hands down to the lower part of my body", Ingram said.

She reported it to the owners.

"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.

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BuzzFeed News reports that when authorities went to speak with Deiter later that day, he confessed to not only assaulting her but nine other women, explaining he needed help.

She was one of three women featured in the "Today" segment claiming similar humiliating experiences at Massage Envy franchise location, after a BuzzFeed report was published this weekend that the chain is dealing with more than 180 cases of sexual assault.

"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.

Numerous victims say the company's response to the allegations was insulting. "There's so many women who are being so courageous and so strong, and I think I can be one of those too". In Florida, a woman said she tried to push away her massage therapist as he licked her vagina. I thought it was one sick man.

Still, she was shocked to learn of the more than 100 allegations against Massage Envy franchises across the nation.

Ingram is suing Massage Envy and taking other steps to make sure spa companies do the right thing.

The news outlet said massage providers in most states are not legally mandated to report client allegations of sexual assault made in their facilities.

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