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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
(Two of the alleged abusers are Brandon Knox and Herve Baptiste.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org