'Humiliated': Massage Envy Sex Victim Speaks Amid New Report

Posted November 28, 2017

Citing lawsuits, police reports, and other documents, BuzzFeed said that the company and its franchisees had mishandled or ignored more than 180 cases.

An investigation by Buzzfeed News found more than 180 women have accused therapists at Massage Envy of groping and other sexual acts.

One woman, Susan Ingram, whose detailed account of what happened to her appears in the investigative report, was assaulted by a masseuse in Pennsylvania.

He also confessed to needing help and pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a total of nine women while working at Massage Envy between fall 2014 and spring 2015.

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BuzzFeed reported massage therapists employed by Massage Envy spas across the country sexually assaulted women by unwanted and unsolicited groping, petting and oral contact.

The company, Massage Envy, told CBS News Monday that its therapists have performed over 125 million massages in its 15 years of operation - and said even a single incident is too many. After driving home sobbing, she called the spa to report the sexual assault. An hour after her assault, Ingram called the Massage Envy location where it occurred.

"I was really in a state of shock, disbelief, fear."

One accuser, Kandice Martellaro, says she worked as a receptionist at a franchise location outside of Los Angeles.

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According to the Buzzfeed report, several massage therapists were kept on staff despite multiple complaints of inappropriate behavior.

"It should be something that they should train for and have an understanding of how to respond".

The manager also told Ingram to come back to the massage center to discuss the session, however, the victim informed the police who then interviewed Deiter, prompting him to confess his crime.

Franchise owners are given little guidance in this regard, BuzzFeed claims, with the exception of a training video called "Behind Closed Doors", which advises therapists to address their guest's concerns "in a safe and secure environment in order to retain them as a valued client and avoid negative attention". "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".

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"They don't mandate that all their franchises report incidents of sexual assault to law enforcement", Horowitz said.