On September 27, 2021, the Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Jorge Pardo, a massage therapist from Deerfield Beach, on account of alleged sexual misconduct at Berger Chiropractic and Wellness, located at 441 South Federal Hwy.
Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441. The Order prohibits Jorge Pardo from practicing massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida. The Emergency Order was entered in response to a sexual misconduct complaint by a female client. In August 2021, Jorge Pardo was criminally charged in Broward County with misdemeanor battery for this same claim. The criminal charge remains pending.
Jorge Pardo has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since June 2009. On June 28, 2021, Pardo preformed a 60-minute massage on a 20-year-old female client. The client had purchased the massage through Groupon. The client disrobed, just wearing a bralette and underwear, and covered herself with the provided drape. Pardo allegedly asked the client to remove her bralette, in which she complied. She told Pardo she was having some neck pain and wanted him to focus on that area specifically. Pardo concentrated on upper back briefly and then he told the client to flip over and lay face up. According to the Order Pardo removed all draping that covered his client’s breasts, placed his hands on the client’s breasts and rubbed them. Mr. Pardo allegedly touched her entire breasts, including her nipples and even her nipple piercings.
The Order states that Pardo then slid his hands up and down the client’s body, face up, beginning at the collarbone and ending above her vaginal hairline. The client reportedly felt extremely uncomfortable and notified law enforcement right after the massage.
Mr. Pardo allegedly violated section 480.046(1)(p) by violating section 480.0485 and/or Rule 64B7-26.010 by using the massage therapist-patient relationship to engage, or attempt to engage, sexual activity outside the scope of practice or generally accepted examination and treatment by massaging and/or touching the client’s breasts and nipples, including her piercings. A massage therapist also should never expose a client without explaining his draping technique.
When clients schedule a massage, it is to relax and escape the stresses of life. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner. 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 those circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault lawsuits against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at various franchises, spas and resorts.