Woman sues Massage Envy claiming she was assaulted during session

- More shocking sexual assault allegations against Massage Envy. The woman, who prefers to keep her identity private, has filed a lawsuit against the company. 

She says a male therapist sexually assaulted her during a session at a Studio City Massage Envy in August of 2016. 

That location has since been closed. The woman says she had been a loyal, 15-year customer of the popular chain, but had never been inappropriately touched until then. 

She says despite telling the therapist to stop, he continued to violate her.

The woman says she complained to the California Massage Therapy Council, which revoked the therapist’s license. 

She has also filed a civil lawsuit against the company. It comes just four months after five other California women took legal action against the franchise, with similar allegations of sexual assault by male therapists. 

It also comes less than a year after a bombshell “Buzzfeed” investigation uncovered sexual misconduct complaints from more than 180 other customers.

Attorneys in this latest case say the company’s culture needs to change, from how they screen and train employees to how they handle reports of sexual assault. 

They say Massage envy is trying to force their client to settle the case in arbitration, but she wants a jury trial.

Massage Envy released this statement to FOX 11:

'Massage Envy does not comment on specific pending litigation. Massage Envy is committed to promoting a safe environment for members, guests and service providers at each of our 1,200 franchise locations nationwide. We urge anyone that experiences anything other than a safe, quality massage to report it immediately to the franchise location so that it can be investigated. 

We support the decision of any victim to report misconduct and it is the policy of Massage Envy to require its franchisees to supply any guest who claims to be a victim of sexual misconduct with the contact information of local law enforcement and the state board.

As a confidential reporting option to any such guest, franchisees also are required to provide information for RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline.

The hotline provides an anonymous link to a local sexual assault service provider who is trained to support victims of sexual assault and help them navigate the support, policy, and care that is most effective for them.

Based on the guidance from leading experts, including RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the US, it is our policy it respect the victim's privacy and the victim's right to decide whether they would like to report to law enforcement, the state board, or anyone else. 

We do require franchisees to report to law enforcement when required by law. We will never stop working to improve our safety policies.

For more information please visit the Commitment to Safety section of our website at: www.massageenvy.com/a-commitment-to-safety/'

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