Massage Envy facing sexual assault allegations from more than 180 women

More than 180 people have reported being sexually assaulted at Massage Envy spas around the country according to a Buzz Feed News investigation

The latest entity to be accused is Massage Envy, a large spa franchise with almost 1,200 locations across the country.

Massage Envy is one of the largest chain of massage franchises in the USA, touting a reputation of professionalism, but BuzzFeed said its investigation brought to light dozens of sexual assault lawsuits, complaints and police reports against the national business. More than 100 "reported that massage therapists groped their genitals, groped their breasts, or committed other explicit violations".

In a statement Sunday, Massage Envy - which has more than 1,100 franchises in 49 states, according to the company's website - said the incidents described in the report were "heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate Massage Envy locations".

Public records indicate Philip Proetto owns the Upper East Side franchise, but Proetto declined to comment, referring questions to Massage Envy's corporate offices, which has not provided a statement.

"The article references 180 reported incidents".

In December 2016, our Madison sister station WKOW-TV reported that a 22-year-old woman accused 33-year-old Christopher Ehrett of sexually assaulting her during a session at a Massage Envy in Fitchburg. "She said she could not do that, and she invited me in to talk about my services".




According to the company, their therapists have done approximately 125 million massages in the past 15 years.

In Deiter's case, two women tried to warn the franchise about inappropriate behavior before Ingram was assaulted, BuzzFeed reports.

Massage Envy does not require any of its locations to take steps to prevent or investigate sexual assault (except in a few states where local laws require it by law).

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

Ingram's account was one of many that highlighted the company's problematic neglect, even though the company claims to have "worked hard to create the industry's most stringent, rigorous policies" for hiring, screening, and training therapists.

In Northeast Ohio, there are at least eight Massage Envy locations, including stores in Beachwood, Westlake, Avon, and Strongsville.

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