In the midst of sexual assault allegations embroiling the nation from Hollywood to Capitol Hill, more than 180 women have just come forward with allegations of being sexually assaulted at Massage Envy spas, according to a report published by BuzzFeed News this week. The report cites incidents of groping and other violations. Customers of "Massage Envy" say they were assaulted by massage therapists. Melanie Hansen, general counsel of Massage Envy Franchising, told the publication that the company holds "franchise owners accountable to our policies and, when we say nothing is more important to us than treating clients with respect and giving them a safe, professional experience, we mean it". One client, Susan Ingram, told CBS News it was during her seventh visit that Deiter violated her, throwing her into "a state of shock, disbelief, fear".
There is one Massage Envy location in the Quad Cities metro area, on Elmore Avenue in Davenport.
The Buzzfeed "article references 180 reported incidents", the company said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Another woman in OR said that her massage therapist also sexually assaulted and ejaculated on her. "I felt broken.", Ingram said in an interview that aired Monday on The Today Show.
Over the past 15 years, Massage Envy has given over 125 million massages, gaining a reputation as one of the most well-known massage parlors around. The report alleges the billion dollar spa chain and its franchisees mishandled or ignored these cases and many more. She says the manager wouldn't take her seriously, so she reported the assault to the police.
In a statement on Sunday, Massage Envy called the allegations "heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate Massage Envy locations".
In Northeast Ohio, there are at least eight Massage Envy locations, including stores in Beachwood, Westlake, Avon, and Strongsville. "It's why we are constantly listening, learning and looking at how we can do more, including how we support franchised locations with best practices in handling these incidents and supporting their clients".