Tag: Orlando Sexual Abuse

HEALTH DEPARTMENT DISCIPLINES ORLANDO MASSAGE THERAPIST AFTER MULTIPLE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT REPORTS

HEALTH DEPARTMENT DISCIPLINES ORLANDO MASSAGE THERAPIST AFTER MULTIPLE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT REPORTS

massage sexual lawyerOn Friday, November 20, 2020, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency restriction of the license of massage therapist, Andres Lopez Ramirez, prohibiting his practice of massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida.  The Emergency Order was entered in response to four sexual misconduct complaints by clients at three different business locations. The incidents of sexual assault allegedly occurred at the Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa of Lake Nona, South Park Chiropractic in Orlando, and J. Sterling’s Essential Spa in Winter Park.  Lopez Ramirez has been a licensed massage therapist since March 2017. 

In February 2020, Lopez Ramirez performed a full body massage on a 33-year old female client he had seen several times in the past at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa of Lake Nona in Orlando.  The session started with her lying face down as usual. During the massage, he instructed her to turn over on her back. Laying face up, he failed to place the sheet high enough to cover her breasts, leaving them completely exposed according to the Order. He reportedly then began rubbing the woman’s breasts, without her consent, leaving her shocked and paralyzed with fear.  In early March 2020, Lopez Ramirez resigned from Hand & Stone of Lake Nona. On March 12, the woman went back to the spa and reported that he had touched her inappropriately during the massage.

In June 2020, Lopez Ramirez worked at South Park Chiropractic, when he treated a 52-year old woman he had seen multiple times in the past. The massage started as usual with her laying face down on her stomach. He began massaging her leg, with each stroke getting higher and higher until he reached her inner thigh. Lopez Ramirez went further and touched her vaginal area with his hand. He then grabbed her. The woman was stunned and just looked at him in shock. He left the room, she got dressed, paid for the massage and quickly left.

On June 9, 2020, a 48-year old woman and her son arrived at South Park Chiropractic in Orlando for a massage booked prior to her readjustment appointment. She told Lopez Ramirez of the pain she was experiencing in her right arm and index finger and the sciatic pain on her left side. The massage started as usual with her laying face down. He started massaging her back, legs and hips. He then allegedly adjusted her left leg, but failed to re-secure the sheet leaving her vaginal area exposed. As he continued to massage her, he told her she was “very tense.” He then reportedly began to rub between her vagina and anus and over her pudendal nerve with his left thumb. The pudendal nerve is the main nerve of the perineum. It carries sensation from the external genitalia and the skin around the anus and perineum. Stunned, the woman froze initially, but due to his continued rubbing and stimulation of her nerve, her body started experiencing involuntary contractions. As she tensed up, he allegedly told her to “breathe through it.”

Lopez Ramirez then told her to turn over on her back. He covered her with the sheet but did not secure it. He massaged her shoulders, arms and upper chest area. When he rotated her arm, the sheet fell exposing her breasts. When he finished the massage, he told her to see him again. She dressed, and went to the waiting room until she was called to be seen by the chiropractor. When the chiropractor saw her, he asked if she was okay and requested she speak with him privately in the back room.  She started to cry and the chiropractor asked his wife to speak with her. The woman told her she was inappropriately touched during the massage and Lopez Ramirez was immediately fired. The woman reported the incident to Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

On September 26, 2020, a 66-year old woman booked a one hour deep tissue massage at J. Sterling’s Essential Spa in Winter Park. As she lay face down, Lopez Ramirez failed to secure the sheet covering her. While he massaged her legs, he spread them apart, making her uncomfortable. He then allegedly placed his hand between her legs and touched her vaginal area with his fingers. He asked, “Is this ok?” Shocked and feeling violated she said “no.” She turned over on her back, and he finished the session. When she dressed and left the room he told her she was tense and should continue to get more massages. 

The woman went to speak with the receptionist, who was with other clients. When asked if she wanted to leave a tip she said no and would call her from the privacy of her car. Once in her car, she started crying. She told the receptionist that Lopez Ramirez had touched her inappropriately during the massage. The receptionist said she would tell the manager. When the manager confronted Lopez Ramirez, he denied the accusation. He was fired. When the woman got home she told her family and friends what had happened. She then reported the incident to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to the Department of Health, Lopez Ramirez flagrantly disregarded the laws and regulations governing massage therapists by willfully violating the massage therapist-patient relationship.  The Order ensures he can no longer pose an immediate, serious danger to the public’s health, welfare and safety, pending a final hearing by the Department.  When clients book 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.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at Hand & Stone 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.

Central Florida chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting woman with dementia

Central Florida chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting woman with dementia

According to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, in mid-November 2019, Altamonte Springs chiropractor, Kent Klonel, 58, was accused of trying to sexually assault a woman in her 80s. He was caught naked from the waist down in the room of the woman who suffers from dementia at the nursing home where she lives. Investigators said Klonel knew the woman and that she can’t speak or move on her own.

Deputies said when a nursing assistant went to check on the woman, the door to her room was closed when it should have been open. According to the affidavit, she went to open it and realized the door had been barricaded shut with a chair. When she finally got it open, she saw Klonel naked, with no pants, no underwear and his outer shirt unbuttoned. The victim was lying in her bed naked from the waist down with no diaper on. 

Records show, the nursing assistant called for help after Klonel shut the door. When they opened the door again, Klonel was dressed except for his shirt. The victim was still naked with her knees bent up, according to authorities. 

Investigators said Klonel made inconsistent statements following the incident, including that he barricaded the door because he was using the restroom and did not want anyone to walk in on him. He claimed the victim didn’t have pajama bottoms on but she was covered with a blanket.

According to the warrant, investigators believe Klonel was in the process of sexually battering the woman when he was interrupted by the staff of the assisted living facility. 

In mid January 2020, Klonel was arrested on charges of attempted sexual battery and battery by touch or strike. He was given a $35,000 bond and ordered not to return to the nursing home and to wear a GPS monitor. He works at Klonel Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Center in Altamonte Springs.

For most people the thought of having to live in a nursing home is a frightening one. Despite the trained experts and knowledgeable staff employed to support a loved one’s needs, it remains a nightmarish experience for various reasons. Safety and security are the top concerns for patients. When placing a loved one in the care of professionals, It is expected that employees at the facility are carefully vetted and safe. It is unacceptable for anyone to touch a patient with dementia who lacks the capacity to consent in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against health care facilities on behalf of patients who were inappropriately touched at their facilities.  A nursing home employee is never permitted to have sexual contact with a client. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a nursing home, 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.

Victory Christian Academy Teacher Arrested on Charges He Molested Female Student

Victory Christian Academy Teacher Accused of Molesting Sixth Grade Student, Police Say

michael mcmillian horowitz law

Michael Lawrence McMillian, a teacher at Victory Christian Academy in west Orlando was arrested Tuesday, November 13th for allegedly molesting a sixth grade student at the Christian private school in Orange County. McMillian was taken into custody on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child, lewd and lascivious conduct, child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and offenses against students by an authority figure.

Law enforcement records reveal that the Department of Children and Families received a call on their hotline that claimed McMillian admitted to victimizing other students from other institutions where he was previously employed.  There are no records of a civil lawsuit being filed.

McMillian, age 36, was arrested on a warrant. Officials with the Orlando Police Department said the victim is a student at the school.  The multiple incidents of sexual abuse are alleged to have occurred when the child was 12 years old during the 2018-19 school year when she was in sixth grade at Victory Christian Academy.  The child reported that McMillian would touch her over and under her clothing while they were alone in their classroom or during recess and also in the school nursery.  

McMillian is currently being held at the Orange County Jail without bond. After administrators learned of the allegations, McMillian was fired from the school and removed from the school website.  According to its website, Victory Christian Academy is a Christian school for students attending K5 through 12th grade. 

Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they be safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse.  Teachers are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential teacher and protect their students. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a principal, teacher or other other school employee, 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.

 

Former Winter Park Pastor Accused of Child Rape Commits Suicide

Former Winter Park Pastor and Christian Radio Host Accused of Child Rape Found Dead of Apparent Suicide

Rev. Bryan Fulwider, a former minister at First Congregational Church of Christ in Winter Park and co-host of the popular radio show “Friends Talking Faith,” was found dead at his Altamonte Springs home on Sunday night. He was pronounced dead on the scene.  The Seminole County Medical Examiner later ruled the death a suicide.

Imprisoned on charges of more than 30 counts of child sexual battery, in early October, Fulwider was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl more than 100 times between 2005 and 2010. She was a parishioner at First Congregational Church of Christ, where he served as Pastor.

According to prosecutors, the case against Fulwider was “extremely strong,” in part because of a phone call recorded by police in which he admitted the abuse to his accuser. “It would be as if I was a predator and you were victimized by me,” he said.  Fulwider posted a $700,000 bond and had been released from prison for just over a week prior to his death. He was facing life in prison if convicted. 

The role of pastors in the church is to support the spiritual needs of their parishioners. Education and often counseling in times of need are responsibilities with which they are entrusted. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the Church. Any ministry in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility if they fail to properly screen potential clergymen and protect their parishioners. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by clergymen in central Florida. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a priest or other clergy, 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.

 

Seminole County Former Minister and Religious Radio Host Admitted ‘Sexual Relationship’ With Minor

Seminole County Former Minister and Religious Radio Host Admitted ‘Sexual Relationship’ With Minor

Rev. Bryan Fulwider, a former senior minister at First Congregational Church of Christ in Winter Park and host of the well-known radio show “Friends Talking Faith,” has been charged with 30 counts of child sexual battery. On Friday, October 4th, police released the affidavit of a victim accusing Fulwider of sexual assault years ago when she was 14 years old. 

Fulwider’s accuser told detectives that when she was 13, he privately asked for her email at the church. She said their relationship escalated in 2005, when they engaged in sex acts in church offices, hotels and cars, over a four year period until 2010.  The Winter Park Police Department said at the time of the abuse, the girl attended the church, located on Interlachen Avenue in Winter Park, where Fulwider was her pastor. 

According to court records, as part of the police investigation into the young woman’s allegation that Fulwider had raped her over 100 times, a phone call to her was recorded.

“[T]here was never anything salacious or bad about it and you were always too damn mature for your own good and I have always loved you,” Fulwider told her.

When she asked if she the church would blame her, Fulwider said she would be considered “quote the victim,” the affidavit says. “It would be as if I was a predator and you were victimized by me,” he said.

Fulwilder’s attorney, Jacob V. Stuart Jr. said he and his client “vehemently deny each and every allegation that has been made against him.”

The church statement released on Thursday said:

“Our church community has been deeply pained to learn of the arrest of Bryan Fulwider, who resigned from First Congregational more than seven years ago. At this time, we have no information about this matter, but we pray that any victim associated with this be given privacy in order to move forward and heal.”

In 2017, former Orlando congregational minister Kathy Schmitz appeared on a “Friends Talking Faith” episode about sexual abuse.   “We need to hold the incredible importance of listening to those who bring accusations forward, knowing how difficult that is and has been in our culture for a long time,” said Schmitz. 

The Winter Park Police Department asks anyone with information about the case or who may have been victimized by Fulwider is asked to call 407-599-3211. Fulwilder is currently being held without bond at the Orange County Jail. If convicted, he could face life in prison. 

The role of pastors in the church is to support the spiritual needs of their parishioners. Education and often counseling in times of need are responsibilities with which they are entrusted. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the Church. Any ministry in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential priests and protect their parishioners. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy of all religious denominations. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a clergyman, 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.

 

Sex Assault Complaint Leads to Emergency Restriction on License of Orlando Massage Therapist from Hand and Stone

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of David Nazario on July 17, 2017.  According to the DOH, Nazario sexually assaulted a 41-year old female client at a Hand and Stone franchise in Orlando, Florida in May 2017.  During a massage appointment, Nazario reportedly lowered the draping to expose his client’s genitals and then touched her vaginal area and breasts without her consent.  The DOH Order stated that “Nazario 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.”  As a result of the Order, Nazario is prohibited from practicing massage therapy on female clients pending a final disciplinary hearing.  Nazario has been licensed as a massage therapist since February 2016.

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.   Incidents such as this are a reminder that persons who may commit sexual misconduct work in all industries, even professions in which we typically place our blind trust.  All allegations of sexual abuse must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and employers must be especially vigilant in supervision and protection at all times.

Aattorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in handling claims nationwide on behalf of victims of sexual assault by massage therapists, including at Massage Envy and other national chains, spas, and hotels.  You can reach Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.