Tag: Fort Myers sexual abuse

Robert Maniaci Massage Therapist

Bonita Springs Massage Therapist Surrenders License After Sexual Misconduct Complaint

Bonita Springs massage therapist, Robert Maniaci, surrendered his license to practice massage therapy in Florida, which was accepted and adjudged as a discipline on September 3, 2021, by the Board of Massage Therapy. Following a disciplinary action brought by the Florida Department of Health alleging sexual misconduct at MassageLuxe Spa in Bonita Springs, Maniaci agreed to cease practicing immediately and not re-apply for a massage therapist license in Florida. Robert Maniaci, age 63, had been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since 2015.  Prior to relocating to Florida, Maniaci was a Chicago firefighter. He also performed massage therapy at Hair Gallery Salon and Day Spa in Cape Coral, FL.

A Final Order of discipline was entered following an allegation of sexual misconduct made against Maniaci when he was working at MassageLuxe Spa, located at 3300 Bonita Beach Rd., Suite 129, Bonita Springs, FL 34134.  According to the Order, on January 20, 2021, Maniaci performed a 60-minute massage to a 23-year-old female client. The client claims that during her massage, Maniaci inappropriately called her “babe” and “honey” during her session. She reported that Maniaci lifted her sheet, exposing her legs, and touched her vagina while massaging her inner thigh with his thumb. The client immediately left the room.  Maniaci was seen pacing in MassageLuxe spa after the alleged assault. An incident report was filed with Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The disciplinary order continues a long and disturbing trend of sexual misconduct by massage therapists statewide. Under Florida law, massage therapists occupy positions of trust, and all sexual activity between the massage therapist and clients is strictly prohibited. 

Maniaci allegedly violated the massage therapist-patient relationship. A massage therapist may not use his relationship with a client to induce or attempt to induce the patient to engage or to engage or attempt to engage the patient in sexual activity outside the scope of practice or the scope of generally accepted examination or treatment of the patient. 

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched during a massage or spa service.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage at MassageLuxe or any other spa, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer, Adam Horowitz today.

Barry Gould Horowitz Law

Fort Myers Beach Massage Therapist Surrenders License After Sexual Misconduct Complaint

Fort Myers Beach massage therapist, Barry Gould, surrendered his license to practice massage therapy in Florida, which was accepted and adjudged as a discipline on September 3, 2021, by the Board of Massage Therapy. Following a disciplinary action brought by the Florida Department of Health Board of Massage Therapy alleging sexual misconduct at Armando’s Day Spa, Gould agreed to cease practicing immediately and not re-apply for a massage therapist license in Florida. Barry Gould, age 71, had been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since 1997.  In a related criminal case, Gould confessed to law enforcement that he touched the victim’s vagina while she was nude, without her consent, during her massage.  The criminal case remains pending in Lee County, Florida.

A Final Order of discipline was entered following an allegation of sexual misconduct made against Barry Gould when he was working at Armando’s Day Spa, located at 2101 Estero Blvd Fort Myers Beach FL 33931. According to media reports, Gould was arrested in Lee County for sexual assault on these same charges in December 2020. Those criminal charges remain pending.  According to the criminal charges and Board of Massage Therapy Complaint, on December 19, 2020, Gould performed a massage on a 26-year-old female client. During the massage, Gould allegedly inserted two fingers partially inside his client’s vagina during the 60-minute massage without her consent. Gould was arrested the same day after the victim identified him in a lineup.  

The disciplinary order continues a long and disturbing trend of sexual misconduct by massage therapists statewide. Under Florida law, massage therapists occupy positions of trust, and all sexual activity between the massage therapist and clients is strictly prohibited. 

Gould allegedly violated the massage therapist-patient relationship. A massage therapist may not use his relationship with a client to induce or attempt to induce the patient to engage or to engage or attempt to engage the patient in sexual activity outside the scope of practice or the scope of generally accepted examination or treatment of the patient. 

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched during a massage or spa service.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage at Armando’s or any other spa, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer, Adam Horowitz today.

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.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST AKEPE NTUBE CHARGED WITH SEX CRIME

On July 9, 2020, Akepe Ntube, a licensed physical therapist assistant, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Grace Medical and Chiropractic located at 13720 North Cleveland Ave. in North Fort Myers, Florida. Police said initiated unwanted sexual contact with the woman while treating her. Ntube, 46, of Lehigh Acres was arrested on one count of sexual assault after the woman reported the incident to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to the arrest report, the woman said upon completion of the chiropractor’s treatment, she was lying face down on the massage table for her usual five minute massage of her hamstrings and glutes. She was fully clothed in shirt, shorts and shoes, when Ntube started to massage the back of her leg and moved his hand up toward her buttocks. He slid his hand under her shorts and underwear and quickly stuck his fingers in her vagina. The woman became immediately frightened and pushed his hand away, asking why he would do such a thing. Ntube apologized and begged her to not tell anyone. She went straight to the police.

When the detective interviewed Ntube he claimed the woman became “upset” for no apparent reason and didn’t finish her massage. When asked if he had touched her vagina he said, “I don’t think so.”  He was told the woman was getting a medical exam which included DNA collection from her vaginal area. The detective asked if his DNA would be found.  At that point, Ntube asked to speak with a lawyer.

According to the Florida Department of Health, Ntube received his physical therapist license in February 2012. No previous disciplinary action or complaints have been reported. The judge set a $20,000 bail for his release. He was released the following day. His scheduled trial date is set for August 8, 2020.

When patients schedule physical therapy sessions it is to improve bodily movement, manage pain and recover and heal from injuries or other medical conditions.  They trust that therapists employed at the medical office are carefully vetted, professional and safe.  It is both unacceptable and unlawful for any employee to touch a patient in a sexual manner.

NEWS UPDATE ON JULY 1, 2021:  Akepe Gerard Ntube, age 47, of Lehigh Acres, was found guilty as charged of one count of Sexual Battery. A jury returned the verdict following a one-day trial in Lee County.  He is now a registered sex offender in the State of Florida.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against health care professionals on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery by a health care professional, 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.

Marc DeTomaso Horowitz Law

Massage Luxe Employee Found Guilty of Inappropriately Touching Client During Massage in Bonita Springs

A Fort Myers, Florida jury found massage therapist Marc DeTomaso guilty of battery for violating a female customer during a massage in February 2017 at Massage Luxe in Bonita Springs.  The customer reported that DeTomaso forced his face between her legs and performed oral sex on her during the last five minutes of the massage appointment without her consent.  The victim reported the incident to Massage Luxe management who called the police. DeTomaso fled the spa before the police arrived.

The State Attorney presented evidence at trial that DNA matching DeTomaso was in a rape kit administered on the woman right after the incident. Judge Joseph Fuller sentenced DeTomaso to one year in jail, as well as court and medical costs associated with the victim’s exams.  DeTomaso, age 56, had been licensed as a massage therapist in Florida since 2000.  His massage therapy license was revoked by the Florida Department of Health in May 2018 on account of this incident.

Jurors heard testimony from the victim and another woman who filed a sexual misconduct complaint against DeTomaso about an encounter that occurred about a month before the February 2017 incident. That woman said she was inspired to notify authorities of the encounter when she saw on the news that DeTomaso was charged with sexual battery.

Sex abuse attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits on behalf of victims of sex assault by massage therapists, including at Massage LuXeIf 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.