Tag: MassageLuXe 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.

Sexual Assaults by Massage Therapists

massage sexual lawyer

Massage Therapy is a billion dollar industry with one in four adults having had a massage within the past year.  Countless people go to spas, hotels, and other locations to receive a massage for relaxation, pain relief, detox, or therapy. Unfortunately, there are an extraordinary number of incidents of sexual assault in the massage therapy setting. In recent years, there have been well-publicized complaints and lawsuits alleging sexual assaults by massage therapists in the spa setting. These incidents have occurred in locations ranging from large national chains such as Massage Envy, MassageLuxe, and Hand & Stone to luxury hotel spas to smaller storefront spas. Sadly, the perpetrators of these assaults are often repeat offenders and prey on the vulnerability of their clients who are seeking relaxation.

Sexual abuse in the massage therapy setting is among the most traumatic and under-reported of all forms of sexual assault. Massage therapists in most states are licensed and regulated by the Department of Health or Board of Massage Therapy. No massage therapist should ever make contact with your genital area or breasts. Indeed, sexual contact between massage therapists and clients is strictly prohibited under professional ethics and licensing rules as well as criminal law in most states.  During a massage, clients are in an extraordinarily vulnerable setting. They are often undressed in a darkened room with a complete stranger (often of the opposite sex) whom they are expected to trust while lying in a prone position and seeking a relaxing experience. Given these circumstances, the massage therapist is actually aided in his commission of the assault by virtue of the conditions of his employment and his status as a licensed massage therapist.  The imbalance of power between massage therapist and client adds to the fear and anxiety when sexual contact is initiated by the massage therapist. Often times due to shock and fear of the sexual contact, the client will go into an involuntary “freeze response” to cope with the trauma of the assault. This is a completely normal physiological response because the sexual contact is unexpected and the brain was previously attempting to go into a state of relaxation. Due to the “freeze response”, a client sexually assaulted in the massage setting often fails to immediately scream for help or otherwise report an assault. Sometimes victims of sexual assault experience guilt or shame if they did not immediately stop the sexual contact or report it right away. The “freeze response” is a completely normal response and the victims should not feel shame or guilt. It is never too late to report a massage therapist for sexual assault.

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.  We handle lawsuits against Massage Envy, Massage Green, MassageLuXe, Planet Beach Spray & Spa, Hand & Stone, and Massage Heights among many other spas and hotels.