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Scottsdale Massage Envy Employee Charged with Sexual Abuse

The relationship between a massage therapist and a spa guest is based on trust; based on trust in the therapist and trust in the spa where the treatment takes place. Often presenting themselves as emotional healers and physical therapists rolled into one, massage therapists are given access to people when they may be at their most vulnerable. Massage Envy Spa and other massage therapy businesses have an exceptionally high responsibility to properly vet massage therapists and ensure that massage therapists respect clearly defined boundaries. The lawyer at Montoya, Lucero & Pastor also believe that massage therapy spas also have a moral responsibility to do what is right by reporting sexual assault to law enforcement immediately.

In a shocking violation of that responsibility, one Massage Envy worker in Scottsdale was recently charged with sexual assault. In addition to the criminal charge, Massage Envy Spa and its employee may be liable for the physical, psychological and emotional harm victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault often experience.

Pursuing Legal Action Against Sexual Abusers

According to reports, Massage Envy therapist Caleb Cherry began massaging the victim as usual on February 15th, when the alleged incident took place. As the massage progressed, however, the victim reported that Cherry continued to massage her upper thigh long after she asked him to stop. The victim then left the room, and reported this violation to the front desk and Scottsdale police. Cherry responded that it was an “accident” and a “spur of the moment decision” when questioned by the police.

One of the most disturbing parts of this case concerns Massage Envy Spa’s official “inappropriate touch” procedure, which they detail in this document. In this guide, Massage Envy Spa claims to respect the rights of sexual assault victims, by letting the victims decide whether they want to report the incident to police. Massage Envy Spa’s inappropriate touch procedure, however, may also lead an already shocked and confused massage guest to believe that appropriate action is being taken when in fact time is passing preventing law enforcement from collecting vital evidence, including DNA evidence from the perpetrator, massage linens and victim. One former Massage Envy Spa employee, Kate Hardy, reported that Massage Envy Spa’s inappropriate touch policy was “in place to protect the company. It’s centered around defusing the situation so that the client doesn’t call police. You don’t want cop cars showing up at your location the next day.”

Victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault should contact police immediately.

According to one report, more than 180 woman have reported sexual assaults at Massage Envy Spa. Allegations include digital penetration of the vagina, oral sexual contact with the vagina, and oral sexual contact with the breasts among others.

Helping Victims Heal through Civil Justice

Although the criminal justice system has charged the alleged perpetrator in this case, it’s an unfortunate truth that most sexual abuse crimes go unreported – and of all the reported sex crimes, relatively few are pursued by prosecutors. This means that victims often feel powerless to bring their abusers to justice, particularly if the sexual abuse was committed by a close friend, teacher, priest, coach, or authority figure over a long period of time

That’s why our Phoenix sexual abuse lawyers have made it our mission to help victims fight back against their abusers and demand accountability in a civil court of law. By pursuing civil damages against their abusers, victims can often find a small measure of peace and justice in the wake of these egregious violations. With more than 60 years of combined experience offering compassionate legal counsel, our skilled legal team at Montoya, Lucero & Pastor, P.A. can help you in cases of sexual abuse.

Have you been hurt by a sexual abuser? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (602) 483-6869 and schedule your consultation in Phoenix and surrounding areas.