On July 29, 2022, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapist license of Youssef Habbouli, after an alleged sexual assault complaint was made by his client. The order prohibits Habbouli’s practice of massage therapy on all female clients in the State of Florida. Habbouli has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since May 2008.
According to the Emergency Order, on June 2, 2022, Youssef Habbouli was assigned to perform a 60-massage on a 21-year-old female client at J. Sterling’s Wellness Spa in Clermont, FL The client was lying face down when Habbouli began the massage and about mid-way through, he asked the client to flip on her back. Habbouli slightly separated her legs and undraped the sheet to uncover them. He massaged up her legs to her thighs and touched/rubbed the client’s vagina with his fingers multiple times. Habbouli then stretched the client’s legs and bent them each into a “frog” position which exposed the client’s vagina. Habbouli never explained his technique or why he touched the client’s genitals. The woman felt uncomfortable and left when the massage was over.
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. Habbouli 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. Habbouli’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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.