Buzzfeed News reports that more than 180 female customers have made sexual assault allegations against Massage Envy, a spa company with nearly 1,200 franchises nationwide. The largest chain of massage franchises in the country, Massage Envy is a billion-dollar business that promises trustworthy services at an affordable price. But BuzzFeed found that scores of women have filed lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints against Massage Envy spas, their employees, and the national company. Many say their claims were mishandled or ignored by employees and owners of individual Massage Envy spas, and by the national company itself.
Dozens of women reported digital and oral penetration. One Oregon woman said her massage therapist forced his fist into her vagina before ejaculating in her face. In Florida, a woman said she tried to push away her massage therapist as he licked her vagina. Over 100 reported that massage therapists groped their genitals or committed other violations, such as a California woman who said she opened her eyes during a prenatal massage to find her massage therapist sucking on her nipple. These claims represent only a sliver of the tens of millions of services Massage Envy says its franchises have provided. Still, lawyers for aggrieved spa clients said there are more cases where women report abuse by massage therapists to police but no arrest is made, and that Massage Envy spas sometimes offer a settlement before a suit is filed, leaving no public record.