Category: Massage

EMERGENCY LICENSE RESTRICTION PLACED ON FORT MYERS MASSAGE THERAPIST FOR MULTIPLE SEXUAL ABUSE REPORTS

On July 28, 2020, the Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order Restricting the license of massage therapist, Joshua A. Lowman, following multiple allegations of sexual abuse. Lowman, who was subject to a previous sexual misconduct complaint  by the DOH involving an alleged assault at a spa in 2018, was a employed at Hand and Stone Massage located at 6891 Daniels Parkway Suite 115, Fort Myers, FL at the time of latest incidents of sexual assault alleged to have occurred on January 4, 2020.

According to the Emergency Order, on January 4, 2020, Lowman inappropriately touched at least two female clients multiple times throughout their respective massage appointments at Hand & Stone.  One woman, who had disrobed, with the exception of her underwear, laid face-down under a sheet, when Lowman rubbed the side of her breasts with his fingers. When she turned over on her back, Lowman’s body brushed up against her hands several times and she felt his erect penis. When she adjusted her position, she saw Lowman’s erect penis through his pants. As Lowman was massaging her legs, he touched her vaginal area several times.  When he moved on to her chest, he went under the sheet several times and touched her nipples. When the massage was over, the woman paid and waited for her friends to finish their massages.

On the same day, January 4, 2020, another female client disrobed with the exception of her underwear, laid face-down under a sheet. When Lowman’s body brushed up against her hands several times, she felt his erect penis. As Lowman was massaging her legs, she felt a part of his body on her clitoris. When she turned over and he started massaging her chest, he went under the sheet several times and touched her bare breast. When the massage was over, she paid and asked her friend if she had felt uncomfortable with Lowman. Both women reported what had happened to the police.

According to the Order, the Florida Department of Health deemed Lowman’s lack of moral character and blatant disregard for the law as an immediate and serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of Florida citizens. The restriction of his license prohibits him from practicing massage therapy on female clients.

The stresses of life can easily overwhelm us. When patients book a massage, it is to decompress and relax. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe. It is for this reason regulating the practice of massage therapy is necessary. Any violation requires swift action, as it is both unacceptable and unlawful for any employee to touch a patient in a sexual manner. 

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at massage parlors and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

HEALTH DEPT. ORDERS EMERGENCY LICENSE RESTRICTION OF CORAL SPRINGS ACUPUNCTURIST

                                               FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ORDERS EMERGENCY LICENSE RESTRICTION OF LOCAL ACUPUNCTURIST

 

On July 2, 2020, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency restriction of the license of Sergio H. Garcia, (Dr. Garcia) to practice acupuncture in the state. Garcia is co-founder of SAGA (Service of Acupuncture Guided by Angels), located at 10718 Wiles Rd, Coral Springs, FL 33076. 

According to the Emergency Order, in late April 2020, Garcia was sexually inappropriate with a female patient while giving her a treatment. After placing the needles, he gave her a full body massage, and told the patient he was giving her a tantric massage. He then “massaged” her vaginal and breast areas.  On two occasions, he allegedly penetrated the patient’s vagina with his finger.  According to the Order, he told her he was removing energy blocks from her body and then kissed her forehead. The Department of Health says that at no point during the session did Garcia ask permission of the patient to touch her in such a manner. 

Such brazen acts are outside the scope of acupuncture practice and are considered to be sexual misconduct which is against the law. The Department of Health found Garcia’s continued unrestricted practice as an acupuncturist, poses an immediate danger to the health and well being of Florida’s citizens. As such, a proceeding for disciplinary action against Garcia will be instituted.

The stresses of life can easily overwhelm us. When patients book an acupuncture appointment it is to manage pain, decompress and relax. They trust that the acupuncturist treating them is carefully vetted and safe. It is both unacceptable and unlawful for any employee to violate the trust of patients and touch them in a sexual manner. 

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against health care professionals on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched during their appointment. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery by an acupuncturist or other health care worker, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

What is Going On With Controversial Governor Brian Kemp and the Massage Industry?

You may feel like “Enough! I’m sick of hearing about this pandemic!”

But please bear with us here. This is more about abuse than disease.

Today, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is letting some businesses reopen, including nail salons, bowling alleys, gyms and massage parlors.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/04/21/coronavirus-georgia-reopening-economy-draws-backlash-excitement/2995845001/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/04/22/coronairus-trump-disagrees-georgia-gov-brian-kemp-reopening/3008524001/

Massage parlors? Really?

Here’s a challenge: Can you think of a riskier business to re-open during a pandemic than massage parlors?

In most businesses, you can be in and out within minutes. You needn’t even touch another person. You can stay six feet away from others except for the 60 or 90 seconds it takes to hand a clerk cash or a credit card.

But massage? For an hour or more, another person’s hands are all over your body while they breathe (and maybe sneeze) within inches of you.

Why on earth would Kemp specifically single out this potentially perilous industry for special treatment and speedy reopening?

It’s of course hard to say. But Kemp’s history with massage immediately springs to mind and raises doubt.

During the 2018 governor’s election, Kemp was accused of failing “to stop an ‘abuser’ in the massage parlor industry,” according to Atlanta’s leading newspaper.

Specifically, Kemp reportedly “renewed the license of a therapist who pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman during a massage when Kemp headed the state’s Secretary of State’s office (which regulates massage in Georgia).

The scrutiny stems from his handling of two Massage Envy clinics that face at least four complaints of therapists groping women during massages.

https://www.ajc.com/blog/politics/new-attack-claims-kemp-failed-stop-massage-parlor-abuser/SglIhAF1loZAEQcTY0fLLL/

“The Board of Massage Therapy, under Kemp, has not sanctioned or revoked any of the accused therapists’ licenses,” reported the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

One organization has suggested that campaign cash influenced Kemp’s oversight.

https://www.ajc.com/blog/politics/anti-kemp-brings-campaign-for-governor-massage-parlor/cIvQhd0Iz5PZIKyr1WTGJM/

A massage center owner, Patrick Greco, both donated to Kemp’s election kitty and hosted, with his partner, “a fundraising gala at their lavish estate in Madison” for the GOP politician.

https://www.thecut.com/2018/10/brian-kemp-sexual-assault-complaints.html

At least one Georgia official called for a criminal investigation “into the donation and the massage board’s lack of action on the sexual harassment complaints. . .alleg(ing) there appears to be a ‘quid pro quo scheme’ between the Kemp campaign and Greco.”
https://www.forsythnews.com/local/state-government/kemp-under-fire-massage-envy-owners-donation/

(Two of the alleged abusers are Brandon Knox and Herve Baptiste.)
https://www.thecut.com/2018/10/brian-kemp-sexual-assault-complaints.html

We at Horowitz Law don’t do speculation or conspiracy theories. We do, however, prod journalists and authorities to investigate situations in which the innocent are vulnerable and situations that don’t ‘pass the smell test.’ This seems to be one of them.

We at Horowitz Law also don’t do politics. We do, however, go after those who could and should prevent abuse but don’t – in the public sector, the private sector, anywhere.
So if you know a reporter, please consider forwarding this post to him or her.

And if you feel an employer – whether a business owner or a government official – is turning a blind eye to abuse, we hope you’ll call us.

If you have a been a victim of sexual assault in a spa or during a massage at Massage Envy, Massage Luxe, Hand & Stone, or any other location offering a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

Massage Sexual Abuse Horowitz Law

Emergency Order Restricts Massage Therapist Due to Sex Assault Complaint

The Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order restricting massage therapist Matthew Allen Bush after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman during a massage appointment on November 3, 2019.  At the time of the alleged incident, Matthew Bush was working at Essentials Massage and Facials in Trinity, Florida.  He reportedly touched the vagina and breasts of his client without consent during the appointment.  The client reported the alleged assault on the day it occurred. Bush has only been licensed to practice massage therapy in Florida since July 2019.

Under the Emergency Restriction Order, Matthew Bush cannot treat female patients.  According to the Surgeon General, Bush’s continued unrestricted ability to provide massage services to female clients constitutes an immediate, serious danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted by a masseuse, it is important to have experienced  attorneys. We have handled dozens of claims nationwide on behalf of victims of sexual assault by massage therapists, including at many national chains, spas, and hotels.  You can reach Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

DoubleTree Resort & Spa Massage Therapist Charged with Sexual Battery

DoubleTree Resort & Spa Massage Therapist Charged with Sexual Battery

james scopetta sexual massage

On February 5, 2020, James Scopetta, a licensed massage therapist was arrested on charges of sexual battery of a woman at the luxury DoubleTree Resort & Spa by Hilton Hotel Ocean Point in Sunny Isles Beach. Police said Scopetta unlawfully initiated unwanted sexual contact with the woman while giving her a massage. 

Scopetta, age 34, of Hallandale Beach was arrested on one count of sexual battery after the woman reported the incident to police. According to the arrest report, she said Scopetta touched her breast and “moved his hands from her vagina and started to rub her clitoris with his finger.”

At first, Scopetta denied the allegation. He then told police officers “he felt the victim was attracted to him and she wanted more of an erotic massage, which made him uncomfortable.” 

According to the Florida Department of Health, Scopetta received his massage therapist license on May 8, 2017. A judge ordered him to not work as a masseuse until the case is resolved.  Scopetta has been licensed as a massage therapist in Florida since May 2017.

The stresses of life can easily overwhelm us. When patients book a massage, it is to decompress and relax. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe. It is both unacceptable and unlawful for any employee to touch a patient in a sexual manner. 

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at massage parlors and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Department of Health Files Sexual Misconduct Complaint Against Naples Massage Therapist

Sexual Misconduct Complaint Against Naples Massage Therapist

Josh Lowman sexual assault massage

On January 22, 2020, the Florida Department of Health filed an Administrative Complaint against massage therapist Josh Lowman alleging that he committed sexual misconduct.  Lowman was working at MassageLuXe located at 2460 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #400, Naples, FL 34109 at the time of the alleged incident.  According to the Complaint, in July 2018, Lowman inappropriately touched a female patient while giving her a massage. He allegedly caressed her inner thigh, as well as her vaginal area over her underwear, without her consent.  Additionally, he reportedly tried to caress her breasts. According to public records, Lowman was later employed at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa on Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers, Florida.  He has been licensed as a massage therapist since April 2018.

All sexual conduct is outside the scope of lawful massage practice.  It is considered sexual misconduct, which constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the Board of Massage Therapy. The Florida Department of Health requested that the Board impose one or more penalties on Lowman, including, but not limited to the permanent revocation or suspension of his massage therapy license, payment a fine, or placing him on probation. 

The stresses of life can easily overwhelm us. When patients book a massage, it is to decompress and relax. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe. This is the reason regulating the practice of massage therapy is necessary. It is both unacceptable and unlawful for any employee to touch a patient in a sexual manner. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents and we have seen multiple complaints alleging sexual misconduct by massage therapists employed at Massage LuXe and Hand and Stone among many others spas.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at massage parlors and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Massage license sexual

Report Inappropriate Touch by Massage Therapists to the Department of Health or Other Licensing Agency

Had a bad massage experience? Here’s an unusual suggestion.

If you’ve gotten a massage and suffered any inappropriate conduct (uncomfortable touch, suggestive remarks, unusual requests), you’ve likely considered calling the police or a civil attorney.

Good for you. But few ever think about contacting the health department in the state where the therapist is licensed.

Here are four reasons why you should consider this step:

–Sometimes police or prosecutors are overworked and can’t move very quickly to expose a wrongdoer. And until an offender is publicly exposed, he’s still a risk to others. Health departments can sometimes more take action quickly.

–In many statesthe Department of Health or Board of Massage Therapy can impose remedies like yanking a therapist’s license, suspending him or her, and issuing a public reprimand.

–Sometimes, these sanctions become a public record and are publicized by news media, thus warning other unsuspecting massage clients.

–Many victims feel better once they’ve taken steps to protect others. (And sometimes, inaction leads to nagging thoughts of “What if he’s still hurting others?)

https://adamhorowitzlaw.com/massage-therapist-sexually-inappropriate/

Finally, if you’ve never had a massage, or a creepy experience during a massage, you may well know others who have. It’s a billion dollar industry and one in four adults have had a massage just within the past year.

So you can help just by asking friends and family “Hey has a massage therapist ever made you feel awkward or uncomfortable?

If the answer is yes, tell them “I believe you and will support you no matter how you choose to handle this.” Listen intently to them. Assure them that however they reacted to the abuse at the time is understandable. Discourage them from ‘kicking themselves’ about not responding in a different way.

And gently urge them to consider reaching out to independent sources of help: therapists, police, prosecutors, health officials and attorneys.

Over the years, Horowitz law has pursued cases like this in many massage chains, including Massage Envy, Hand & Stone, Massage Green, Massage LuXe, Elements Massage, Massage Heights, and many other locations.  https://adamhorowitzlaw.com/who-we-sue/massage-therapists-spas/

Florida Department of Health disciplines Winter Springs massage therapist for sex offense

The Florida Department of Health disciplines Winter Springs massage therapist

On January 16, 2020, the Florida Department of Health accepted the voluntary relinquishment of Mark Raymond Curley’s license to practice massage therapy in the state of Florida. It is accepted as a resolution to a sexual misconduct complaint from 2017. It will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank as a disciplinary action. Additionally, Curley agreed to never reapply for a massage therapist license in Florida again. 

Curley was a licensed massage therapist and is the owner at Serenity Center located at 2040 Winter Springs Blvd. in Oviedo, Florida. In January 2017, he was accused of sexual misconduct of a 44-year-old female client. The patient removed her bra for the massage, but kept her underwear on. During the massage, Curley removed the patient’s sheet, exposing the woman’s breasts without her consent. He then proceeded without consent, to inappropriately touch and squeeze her breasts. He applied pressure on her crotch, and put the patient’s nipple in his mouth, flicking it with his tongue. When she objected, he said they had to stay quiet. When the patient left, she called the police. 

The stresses of life can easily overwhelm us. When clients book a massage, it is to decompress and relax. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe. It is unacceptable for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at massage parlors and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Hand & Stone sexual massage

Hand & Stone Massage Employee Disciplined for Sexual Misconduct in Winter Park

On January 9, 2020, the Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Alexander Hyman due to sexual assault allegations lodged by a female client.  Alexander Hyman was employed at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Winter Springs, Florida at the time of the incident in June 2019. The Emergency Order prohibits Hyman from practicing massage therapy on any female clients.

The Order was issued after Hyman, a licensed massage therapist, was accused by a female client of touching her vaginal area several times during the massage.  The client reported the assault to receptionist after she left massage room.  Hyman resigned from Hand & Stone Massage two days later.  According to the Department of Health, Ramos had been licensed to practice massage therapy since 2016.  This is just the latest in a long line of alleged incidents of sexual misconduct and abuse reportedly committed by employee at Hand & Stone franchise locations in Florida.

Clients of massage therapists are placed in isolated, vulnerable settings where they can be subject to abuse by their massage therapists. Due to the potential for abuse that is inherent under these circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy and must refrain from placing their clients in situations that violate their safety and welfare.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at Hand & Stone and other spas and resorts.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

Naples massage therapist disciplined for sexual misconduct

Naples massage therapist accused of sexual misconduct disciplined by the Florida Department of Health 

On January 15, 2020, the Florida Department of Health accepted the voluntary relinquishment of Carlos Ysrael Ramos’ license to practice massage therapy in the state of Florida. It is accepted as a resolution to sexual misconduct complaints at two spa locations, and will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank as a disciplinary action. Ramos agreed to never re-apply for a massage therapist license in Florida again. 

Ramos was a licensed massage therapist from Naples. In February 2016, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 54-year-old female client at Hyatt Stillwater Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida.  During the massage, Ramos made inappropriate comments about her body. He removed the sheet exposing the woman’s buttocks without her consent. He then inappropriately massaged her inner thighs, buttocks and anus.

In April 2018, a second complaint of sexual misconduct was reported by another woman when Ramos worked at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Naples. According to the woman, she fell asleep while Ramos was massaging her legs. When she woke up, she found him rubbing her groin area with his fingers on or near her vagina. When she moved, he continued massaging her legs. She fell asleep again while Ramos massaged her neck and back. She awoke to find her body completely exposed with Ramos massaging in between her buttocks with his fingers. Again, when she moved, he continued massaging her legs.

When clients go for a massage, it is to decompress from the stresses of life and relax. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe. It is unacceptable for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at massage parlors and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.