A woman has filed suit against one of the nation’s largest massage chains claiming she was sexually abused during a visit to a suburban location.
Attorneys for the woman, who is in her 20s, said she was touched in a sexually inappropriate way “during the course of what was supposed to be a relaxing massage” in August at a Massage Envy in Tinley Park.
“He admitted he did something inappropriate and he apologized profusely,” Attorney Jessica Arbour said.
The woman filed a report with Tinley Park police, but no criminal charges have been filed.
The lawsuit claims Massage Envy did not do enough to protect the woman before and after the incident.
"Nothing is more important to Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, its brand, and its franchise community than the wellbeing of its franchisees’ members and guests,” the company said in a statement. “The policies we hold our franchisees to are among the most stringent in the industry and promote the safety and comfort of the franchisees’ clients while receiving professional services. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC has a strict Zero Tolerance Policy that addresses various types of inappropriate conduct, including making clear that such conduct is impermissible and will not be tolerated.”
The company also said it requires franchisees to conduct a thorough investigation of any allegation and, “should a therapist employed by a franchisee violate our Zero Tolerance Policy, the franchisee is required to terminate the therapist and restrict them from employment at any Massage Envy franchised location."
Arbour noted in a press conference about the suit Thursday that Massage Envy faces a number of civil and criminal suits across the country alleging sexual misconduct.
In 2013, a masseur at a Naperville location pleaded guilty to battery after a woman claimed he fondled her. An Elmhurst woman also filed a lawsuit in 2015 claiming she was sexually assaulted by an employee while visiting her local Massage Envy for medical reasons.
“I wish I could forget it now, but I can’t,” the woman in the Tinley Park suit said in a statement via her attorney. “This was not my fault and I want everyone to know about it so that other women will not have to go through what I have been through.”