Tag: Adam Horowitz Attorney

Keonte Mcknight Horowitz Law

Sarasota Massage Envy Therapist Keonte Mcknight Gets License Restricted for Sex Assault Complaint

On July 1, 2022, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) filed an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Keonte Mcknight in response to a report of sexual misconduct during a massage he performed while working at Massage Envy in SarasotaThe Order prohibits Mcknight from practicing massage therapy on female clients in the state of Florida. Mcknight just became a licensed massage therapist in Florida in February 2022. Before becoming a massage therapist, Mcknight was a certified nursing assistant in 2017, but for some reason, the license expired in 2019 even though it was issued until 2023.

According to the Department of Health’s Emergency Order, on May 3, 2022, Keonte Mcknight performed a 1-hour massage on a 63-year-old female client at Massage Envy. During the massage, Mcknight rubbed the client’s upper thigh and in the crease between her leg and groin. As he got higher up the leg, the sheet became lifted off of the client’s vagina, leaving it exposed. As he massaged, he touched her clitoris and inserted one finger inside the client’s vagina. The client immediately say up and stated, “that was really personal.” Mcknight then moved back and apologized for “invading her personal space.”

The client then ended the massage, got dressed, and reported the incident to the receptionist. Massage Envy then reported it to law enforcement. This was not Mckinght’s first brush with the law. In 2018, Mcknight was charged with a second-degree felony for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of marijuana (over 20g), but ultimately the charges were dropped. In 2019, Mcknight was charged for driving with a suspended license, yet again the charges were dropped.

Keonte Mcknight Allegedly Violated the Massage Therapist-Patient Relationship

When clients schedule a massage, it is to decompress from 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. Mr. Keonte Mcknight willfully abused his position as a massage therapist to sexually violate a woman who trusted him to act professionally and within the boundaries of generally accepted massage therapy and treatment. Mr. Mcknight’s violation of the massage therapist-patient relationship indicates that he lacks the good moral character and judgment necessary 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 Massage Envy and various massage salons and spas. 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 for massage clients at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Paul Mixon Horowitz Law

Massage Envy Therapist Paul Mixon Disciplined for Sex Assault Complaint

On June 16, 2022, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) filed an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Paul Mixon in response to a report of sexual misconduct during a massage he performed while working at Massage Envy in Sanford, FLThe Order prohibits Mixon from practicing massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida. Mixon has been licensed as a massage therapist in Florida since November 2019.

According to the Department of Health’s Emergency Order, on May 12, 2022, Paul Mixon was assigned to perform a 2-hour massage on a 43-year-old female client at Massage Envy. Mr. Mixon had previously worked on the client multiple times to release stress in her pectoral muscles. During the last massage, the client laid on her back with her chest covered by a sheet.

Mixon began the massage, rubbed the patient’s jaw, and then moved to her pectorals. Upon completing the pectoral massage, Mr. Mixon pinched her nipples. Mr. Mixon moved to the client’s left side, removed the draping on her left leg, and began to massage the left leg in an upward motion. Mr. Mixon allegedly removed the draping from the client’s vaginal area and used a finger on his left hand to penetrate the client’s vagina.

The client immediately made an audible sound, which startled Mr. Mixon. He then placed his right hand on the client’s neck and squeezed it for her to stop. The client remained silent, closed her eyes, and removed Mixon’s hand from her neck. Mr. Mixon then removed his finger from the patient’s vagina and completed the massage as if nothing happened.

After the massage ended, the victim got dressed and exited the room. On or about May 16, 2022, the victim reported Mr. Mixon’s conduct to the Sanford Police Department. Two days later, the victim reported the vaginal penetration to her doctor and complained that she was experiencing upper vaginal pain since the penetration. The victim was diagnosed with candida vulvovaginitis, a yeast infection, and prescribed medicine for it.

When clients schedule a massage, it is to decompress from 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. Mr. Paul Mixon willfully abused his position as a massage therapist to sexually violate a woman who trusted him to act professionally and within the boundaries of generally accepted massage therapy and treatment. Mr. Mixon’s violation of the massage therapist-patient relationship indicates that he lacks the good moral character and judgment necessary 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 Massage Envy and various massage salons and spas. 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 for massage clients at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Diego Holguin Cespedes Horowitz Law

Diego Holguin Cespedes of Massage Envy in Miami Beach Disciplined for Sex Assault Complaint

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued an Emergency Order on March 9, 2022, restricting the massage therapy license of Diego Holguin Cespedes in response to a report of sexual misconduct during a massage he performed while working at Massage Envy in Miami BeachThe Order prohibits Holguin Cespedes from practicing massage therapy on male clients in the State of Florida. Holguin Cespedes has been licensed as a massage therapist in Florida since November 2020.

According to the Department of Health’s Emergency Order, on November 20, 2021, Diego Holguin Cespedes was assigned to perform a 60-minute massage on a male client at Massage Envy. During the massage, Holguin Cespedes allegedly told the client to flip over, laying face up on the massage table. He massaged the client’s shoulders and neck and then worked his way down to the client’s legs and thighs. While massaging the victim’s thighs, Holguin Cespedes allegedly placed his hand up into the client’s boxer briefs from the right leg opening. He then grabbed and stroked the client’s genitals and penis according to the Order. The client tried knocking his hand away and stated, “man, what are you doing, I don’t get down like that.” Holguin Cespedes allegedly responded by saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” and left the room. The client got dressed and told a staff member what had happened. Holguin Cespedes was fired that day from Massage Envy.

When clients schedule a massage, it is to decompress from 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. Mr. Holguin Cespedes willfully abused his position as a massage therapist to sexually violate a man who trusted him to act professionally and within the boundaries of generally accepted massage therapy and treatment. Mr. Holguin Cespedes’ violation of the massage therapist-patient relationship indicates that Holguin Cespedes lacks the good moral character and judgment necessary 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 Massage Envy and various massage salons and spas. 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 for massage clients at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

What Should You Do If Your Child Was Sexually Abused at Daycare?

Daycare sexual lawsuit

Attorney Adam Horowitz has many years of experience representing children who have been sexually abused or otherwise neglected at daycares and pre-school. Horowitz Law has obtained justice in lawsuits against large national companies and local daycares and pre-schools. In some cases, we have represented multiple victims of the same perpetrator. It is often the case that after one child comes forward with an account of abuse that additional victims of the same perpetrator gain the courage and strength to come forward as well. There is strength in numbers and having the courage to expose a perpetrator may provide support to other child victims in telling their story.

Child sex abuse cases involving abuse in a daycare are heartbreaking, emotional cases which require a legal team who has experience handling these cases. There is a complex web of regulations from the Department of Children & Families which apply to every aspect of daycare including adult supervision, licensing requirements, staff: child ratios, nap times, and a variety of safety rules. In addition to contacting a civil attorney to find out your family’s rights, there are others to whom you should report a sexual assault of a child at daycare or pre-school:

  1. Notify the police department or other law enforcement agency in the city where the sexual assault occurred.It is important that you report the assault in full detail to civil authorities so that the perpetrator can be exposed and held criminally responsible where appropriate.
  2. Notify the Department of Children & Families in the state where the daycare or pre-school is located.You should submit a report in writing which details all inappropriate contact. Remember — it is not you or child’s fault that the perpetrator touched your child in a sexual manner and it is not your child’s fault if the child did not immediately stop the perpetrator or report the misconduct. Sexual abuse is a frightening and confusing experience for a child, particularly when it is committed by an adult authority figure trusted by the child’s parents. The Department of Children & Families is authorized to impose a variety of sanctions against Daycare facilities, ranging from removing a license to monetary fines to public reprimand. Sanctions against a Daycare facility may become a public record and you can protect other children from being exposed to a potential sexual trauma by reporting an assault to the Department of Children & Families.  There are several large national Daycare Centers in the United States including Top of the World Preschool, Challenger School, KinderCare Learning Centers, La Petite Academy, and Bright Horizons Child Care Centers.  Because of the sheer volume of children under their supervision, it is especially critical that these large businesses make child safety the highest priority and adopt policies and procedures to ensure that everything that can possibly be done is done to eliminate the risk of sexual misconduct at one of their facilities.
  3. Contact a therapist. After a traumatic event, it is typical for children to have feelings of anxiety, guilt, stress, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, depression, restlessness or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. You may also witness a child sexually acting out or having sexual boundary issues with other children or adults. Survivors of sexual trauma may also experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As important as it is to notify an attorney and civil authorities about a sexual trauma, there is no substitute for also receiving therapy from a trained professional.

If your child or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault in a daycare or pre-school, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an e-mail to attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

 

Massage Envy Worker in Washington D.C. Now Accused in Four Sex Abuse Cases

Habtamu Gebreselassie

Four Massage Envy clients told police that a Massage Envy therapist who worked in Washington D.C. and Bowie, Maryland made unwanted sexual contact with them during massage appointments.  The massage therapist, Habtamu Gebreselassie, is 24 years old, and is now facing multiple criminal charges.

The earliest known alleged incident is reported to have occurred at the Massage Envy in Bowie, Maryland on June 20, 2017.  According to the victim, she reported the incident to management at the Bowie Massage Envy franchise and asked to cancel her membership.  She says she was told she could not do so but that she could have a free spa day, as a courtesy. Also, she says management told her that Gebreselassie was transferred to a location in D.C., so she would not see him again at the Bowie location.

As of September 22, 2017, Gebreselassie has been criminally charged in three claims:  (1) sexual abuse between June 17 and June 21 at the Massage Envy franchise on P Street NW in Washgington D.C. , (2) attempted sexual abuse on Aug. 28 at Massage Envy in Tenleytown; and (3) sexual abuse Sept. 17 at Massage Envy in Tenleytown.    The alleged victim in the August 28th incident told law enforcement that she report the incident to the management and owner of the Massage Envy location on Sepemtember 5.   Management wrote a report, gave Gebreselassie additional training and allowed him to stay on the job, a D.C. detective testified in court.

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.   Incidents such as this are a reminder that persons who may commit sexual misconduct work in all industries, even professions in which we typically place our blind trust.  All allegations of sexual abuse must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and employers must be vigilant in screening, supervision and protection at all times.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in handling claims nationwide on behalf of victims of sexual assault by massage therapists, including at Massage Envy, Massage Luxe, Hand & Stone Massage, Massage Green, Elements Massage, Massage Heights, Planet Beach Spray & Spa, and other national chains, spas, and hotels.  You can reach Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

SEX ASSAULT COMPLAINT LEADS TO EMERGENCY RESTRICTION ON LICENSE OF WELLINGTON MASSAGE THERAPIST

Massage Sexual assault SaenzThe Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Ruben Dario Saenz on August 29, 2017.  According to the DOH, Saenz sexually assaulted a 38-year old female client at a Massage Envy franchise in Wellington, Florida in May 2017.  During a massage appointment, Saenz reportedly lowered the draping of his client to expose her breasts.  After the breasts were exposed, he allegedly touched her breasts and nipples without consent.   The DOH Order states that “Saenz willfully abused his position as a massage therapist to sexually violate a woman who trusted him to act professionally and within the boundaries of generally accepted massage therapy and treatment.”  As a result of the Order, Sanez is immediately prohibited from practicing massage therapy on female clients pending a final disciplinary hearing.  Saenz has been licensed as a massage therapist in Florida since June 2011.

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.   Incidents such as this are a reminder that persons who may commit sexual misconduct work in all industries, even professions in which we typically place our blind trust.  All allegations of sexual abuse must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and employers must be especially vigilant in supervision and protection at all times.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in handling claims nationwide on behalf of victims of sexual assault by massage therapists, including at Massage Envy and other national chains, spas, and hotels.  You can reach Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

Sex Assault Complaint Leads to Emergency Restriction on License of Orlando Massage Therapist from Hand and Stone

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of David Nazario on July 17, 2017.  According to the DOH, Nazario sexually assaulted a 41-year old female client at a Hand and Stone franchise in Orlando, Florida in May 2017.  During a massage appointment, Nazario reportedly lowered the draping to expose his client’s genitals and then touched her vaginal area and breasts without her consent.  The DOH Order stated that “Nazario willfully abused his position as a massage therapist to sexually violate a woman who trusted him to act professionally and within the boundaries of generally accepted massage therapy and treatment.”  As a result of the Order, Nazario is prohibited from practicing massage therapy on female clients pending a final disciplinary hearing.  Nazario has been licensed as a massage therapist since February 2016.

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.   Incidents such as this are a reminder that persons who may commit sexual misconduct work in all industries, even professions in which we typically place our blind trust.  All allegations of sexual abuse must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and employers must be especially vigilant in supervision and protection at all times.

Aattorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in handling claims nationwide on behalf of victims of sexual assault by massage therapists, including at Massage Envy and other national chains, spas, and hotels.  You can reach Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

Sharp Rise in Clergy Sexual Abuse Claims in Catholic Church According to U.S. Bishops

Since the 1950s, more than 18,000 allegations of sexual abuse have been made against clergy members, the Boston Globe reports. More recently, there has been an influx of the filing rate of these cases according to newly-released data.

The annual report from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which covers July 2015 to June 2016, said 911 more victims came forward with allegations the church deemed credible.  The vast majority of these claims were from adults who said they were abused when they were children.  A large number of allegations were reported in Minnesota where the legislature amended the statute of limitations to allow additional victims to come forward.

This data highlights the fact that more work still needs to be done in addressing the clergy abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.  It refutes the popular contention that all of the victims have already come forward.  The numbers demonstrate that sexual abuse victims are empowered by state legislation allowing them to bring civil claims.  It is forth this reason that more states – including New York – should pass legislation giving victims more time to bring their claims.  In the absence of such legislation, many victims continue to suffer in silence.  The data further shows that victims gain collective strength in numbers and are likely to come forward after being empowered by high-profile cases in the media or in the case of Spotlight, the Academy-award winning film which exposed the scope of the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse by the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits nationwide involving abuse of children of many religious denominations, including the Catholic Church. You can reach Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

Maitland Therapist Arrested on Charges of Child Molestation, Polk County Deputies Say

Jessica Lazzara sexualA behavioral therapist who worked at Big Bear Behavioral Health in Maitland, Florida has been arrested on felony charges of molestation of  two children she met through her practice, Polk County deputies announced on May 30, 2017.   Jessica Lazzara, 42, of Mulberry, was fired from Big Bear Behavioral Health after her arrest on May 25.  Lazzara was employed as an intern according to Big Bear Behavioral Health.

Lazzara was baker-acted when law enforcement arrived at the scene.  At a press conference on May 30, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd made the case that Big Bear Behavioral Health did not conduct an adequate investigation of Ms. Lazzara’s background.

Deputies said the charges stem from an incident during a therapy session with children who are eleven and thirteen years old.  Lazzara is charged with lewd molestation, lewd and lascivious conduct, child abuse, battery and indecent exposure.  Lazzara is being held without bail as one of the alleged acts is a capital offense.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits on behalf of victims of sex assault by doctors, mental health counselors, and other health care personnel.  If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual assault, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

Massage Therapist Arrested on Charges He Sexually Assaulted Client at Massage Luxe in Bonita Springs

A massage therapist working at a Massage Luxe in Bonita Springs was arrested in Lee County, Florida on May 8, 2017 on charges he sexually assaulted a female customer while she was at a massage appointment.  According to the arrest warrant, Marc DeTomaso, 54, moved the victim’s underwear and inserted his tongue inside her vagina. The victim immediately left the room and told employees at Massage Luxe to call the police.  The alleged incident reportedly occurred on February 5, 2016.  According to the police report, DeTomaso left the business despite being instructed by the owner to stay until authorities arrived.

Surveillance video from the business, located on Bonita Beach Road, shows the victim frantic as she enters the lobby after leaving the massage room. The alleged victim told law enforcement she was a regular customer of DeTomaso. According to a published report, DeTomaso was arrested in 2007 for drug possession in Collier County, a charge that did not disqualify him from being a therapist. The Department of Health website states that DeTomaso has been licensed as a massage therapist since 2000.

DeTomaso faces one count of sexual battery. He is out on a $25,000 bond.

If you have a been a victim of sexual assault in a spa or 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.