Massage Envy Mishandled Its Customers and Now Faces 180 Sexual Assault Accusations

Therapists at a nationwide massage chain are facing almost 200 allegations of sexual assault.

Massage Envy, a billion dollar company with more than 1,100 franchises across the country, reportedly turned a blind eye to sexual assault complaints.

Two women spoke to ABC News about their claims at a Pennsylvania and Virginia location where masseurs allegedly sexually assaulted them.

"I begged her to stop the massage and get him away from the woman", Ingram said, according to a court transcript.

Former Massage Envy employees court filings say that the company isn't liable for sexual assaults because of the franchising agreements, but attorneys for the victims argue that the company trains the employees and establishes operational policies.

In a statement on Sunday, Massage Envy called the allegations "heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate Massage Envy locations".

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She told CBS News that she was groped "roughly and aggressively" by Deiter, noting that she was "really in a state of shock, disbelief, fear".

There is one Massage Envy location in the Quad Cities metro area, on Elmore Avenue in Davenport. More than 100 "reported that massage therapists groped their genitals, groped their breasts, or committed other explicit violations".

Susan Ingram told Buzzfeed that it wasn't until her seventh session with Deiter that he assaulted her. "But, we believe that even ONE incident is too many, so we are constantly listening, learning, and evaluating how we can continue to strengthen our policies with respect to handling of these issues". After leaving the spa, she called the Massage Envy location where it occurred to inform them of what had happened.

"Massage Envy told BuzzFeed News that it would not be "appropriate to respond point-by-point" to questions "because of pending litigation" and the confidential documents involved".

She helped draft federal legislation that would require massage spas to report sexual assault allegations to police. But that is often created to protect the company - not the victim - said former Massage Envy clinic manager Kate Hardy.

"But a review by BuzzFeed News found the company's policies on reporting improper conduct do more to protect the company brand than to ensure customer complaints are handled appropriately".

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