A Tinley Park, IL woman has made her sexual assault public when she attached her name to a lawsuit against Massage Envy. ABC7 reported on the incident.
Catherine Smith alleges that during her second visit to the Massage Envy on 191st Street, her therapist touched her inappropriately. In December of 2016, she filed a civil suit against Massage Envy, both the Tinley Park location and the franchise itself.
This is just one case in a slew of charges against Massage Envy, a franchise consisting of more than 1,000 locations that claims to be the largest US employer of massage therapists.
Though she declined to comment on this particular instance, Gana Ahn, spokesperson for Massage Envy, provided the following statement:
“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. We require 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 ….”
This Zero Tolerance Policy does not appear to be enough to prevent victims from undergoing trauma during massages.
“This is what people need to understand about unwanted sexual contact. This split second incident has forever changed the way she will live every minute of every day of the rest of her life,” said Smith’s attorney, Jessica Arbour.