Tag: Massage Therapy Sexual Abuse

The Steps to Take After Being Sexually Assaulted by a Massage Therapist

Massage Sexually assaulted

Attorney Adam Horowitz is among the most experienced attorneys in the country in representing survivors of sexual assault by massage therapists (otherwise known as masseurs or masseuses).  Our law firm has represented dozens of people sexually assaulted by massage therapists and obtained justice in countless cases against large national chain spas, luxury hotels, and local spas.  An explosive Buzzfeed News investigation in which Adam Horowitz was quoted blew the cover off the massage industry and exposed the fact that over 180 people had reported sexual misconduct at Massage Envy franchises nationwide.  Since that time, the number of abuse claimants has continued to soar.

We have handled sexual misconduct cases involving incidents at Massage Envy, Hand & Stone, Massage Green, Massage LuXe, Elements Massage, Massage Heights, and many other locations.  In some cases. we have represented multiple victims of a single massage therapist.  It is often the case that after one client comes forward with an account of assault and then 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 your perpetrator may provide support to other victims in telling their story.

All sexual contact by massage therapists during a professional setting is prohibited.  For  instance, Section 480.0485, Florida Statutes, provides as follows:

Sexual misconduct in the practice of massage therapy. — The massage therapist-patient relationship is founded on mutual trust. Sexual misconduct in the practice of massage therapy means violation of the massage therapist-patient relationship through which the massage therapist uses that relationship 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. Sexual misconduct in the practice of massage therapy is prohibited.

In most jurisdictions, sexual contact by a massage therapist is a crime and can result in the massage therapist losing his professional license.  In addition to contacting a civil attorney to find out your rights in a lawsuit, there are others to whom you should also report a sexual assault by a massage therapist:

  1. Notify the police department or other law enforcement agency in the city where the massage occurred.  It is important that you report the assault in full detail to criminal authorities so that the massage therapist can be exposed and held criminally responsible where appropriate.  In criminal cases, there is a high burden of proof. Not every perpetrator will be criminally charged, but it is important to get the report on record. It could cost the therapist his job or prevent him from committing abuse in the future.
  2. Notify the Department of Health or other licensing agency in the state where the massage therapist is licensed. You should submit a report in writing detailing all inappropriate contact initiated by the massage therapist.  Remember — it is not your fault that the massage therapist touched you in a sexual manner and it is not your fault if you did not immediately stop the perpetrator.  It is also not your fault if you did not immediately report the incident while you were still figuring out how to process these events.  When you go into a massage, you are expecting a relaxing experience from a trained professional.  You are not expecting the massage therapist to initiate sexual contact.  In most jurisdictions, the Department of Health or Board of Massage Therapy will commence an investigation of the massage therapist upon receiving a sexual assault allegation.  The Department is authorized to impose a variety of remedies, ranging from removing a message therapist’s licenses to suspension to public reprimand.  Sanctions against a massage therapist may become a public record and you can protect other clients from being exposed to a potential sexual assault by reporting an assault to the Department of Health.
  3. Contact a therapist.  After a traumatic event such as being sexually assaulted during a massage, it is typical to have feelings of anxiety, stress, intrusive thoughts, depression, restlessness or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. In particular, survivors of sexual trauma may experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While it is natural to have some of these symptoms after a traumatic event, if they last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, it might be 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 you have a been sexually assaulted 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 attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

Hand & Stone sexual lawsuit sandro moliere

Fort Lauderdale Massage Therapist Has License Restricted Due to Alleged Sexual Misconduct

On August 30, 2018, the Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Sandro Moliere, who had last been working at Hand & Stone Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The Order prohibits Moliere from performing massage therapy on female client.  In the Order, Moliere is accused of making unwanted sexual contact with two female clients at Hand & Stone.  The Department of Health asserts that Moliere therefore represent an “immediate, serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.”  According to Department of Health records, Sandro Moliere has been licensed as a massage therapist since October 2017.

At Hand & Stone in Fort Lauderdale, Moliere is reported on June 18, 2018 to have removed the underwear of a female client and then removed the draping covering his client’s breasts without her client’s consent.  He then allegedly massaged her breasts in a circular motion.  Moliere’s employment at Hand & Stone was terminated on June 22, 2018 on account of this incident. Thereafter, on July 15, 2018, another female client reported to Hand & Stone that Moliere massaged her breasts without her consent.

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.  Sadly, we see far too many cases in which massage therapists fail to exercise good judgment and betray the trust they are given.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at Hand & Stone Spa locations.  A massage therapist is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client.  If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage at Hand & Stone Spa or any other spa location, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm for a free consultation at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz  at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com

Cesar Guerrero massage

Massage Envy Therapist Pleads Guilty to Sexual Attack, Required to Register as Sex Offender

 

Cesar Guerrero, a former massage therapist in Central Florida, was sentenced to fifteen years years of probation and ordered to register as a Sex Offender after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a female client at Massage Envy location in Winter Garden, Florida.

Guerrero was accused of sexually assaulting and groping a woman at the Massage Envy in Winter Garden in December 2015.  Additional women also have come forward with accusations, several of which result in civil lawsuits. All of the civil cases were filed by attorney Adam Horowitz.  The other cases did not result in criminal charges.

The courageous victim had an opportunity to confront her accuser in Court.  “I will not stand here today to recount the pain, the suffering, the tears and the strife,” she said. “My only hope for you is that you seek the professional help that you need and understand why you did what you did and why you are the way you are.”

If you have a been a victim of sexual assault or battery during a massage at Massage Envy, 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