She says it happened while she was making minimum wage, working as a receptionist at a Massage Envy in Glendale, California, and getting a complimentary massage. But overall, Melanie Hansen, general counsel of Massage Envy Franchising, said the company has worked hard to create the industry's "most stringent, rigorous policies" for hiring, screening, and training therapists.
More than 180 female customers of Massage Envy have accused male massage therapists of groping and penetrating them while on the massage table, BuzzFeed reported, citing lawsuits, police reports, and other complaints.
Several of the accusers reportedly also complained to the management of the spa chain that operates more than 1,200 spas across the country about the alleged assaults.
"She said in a very apparently scripted response, 'We invite you in to talk about your services.' And I said, 'No, no, no you don't understand, '" Ingram said. The news outlet said massage providers in most states are not legally mandated to report client allegations of sexual assault made in their facilities.
A man told cops that an employee in the spa at 344 E. 63rd Street performed oral sex on him during a session in August 2015, and a woman this past January reported that an employee there grabbed her breasts.More news: United States deploys unmanned submersibles in Argentine submarine search
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Turns out, two other women attempted to warn the spa about Deiter before Ingram, court records show. One California woman also said she was sexually assaulted during a prenatal massage.
After the news of the allegations, Massage Envy called each incident "heartbreaking", saying that it will "never stop looking for ways to help our franchisees provide a safe environment".
Susan Ingram told Buzzfeed that it wasn't until her seventh session with Deiter that he assaulted her.
According to Buzzfeed, Massage Envy claims in court documents that it is not liable for sexual assaults at its franchised spas. "I endured a long, humiliating, and painful trial, and the massage therapist was convicted of a felony sexual assault". Ingram told NBC News and BuzzFeed she was dismissed by the West Chester location's manager when reporting the incident.
Massage Envy is now reviewing their policies, USA Today reported.