NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Disturbing complaints allege that masseurs have turned into sexual predators.
The largest massage spa chain in the country is facing nearly 200 allegations of sex assault.
Some Massage Envy therapists have reportedly been accused of sexual molestation and misconduct.
The NYPD said one Massage Envy location at 63rd Street had two complaints against it in 2015.
One for a criminal sex act, another for forcible touching — neither resulted in an arrest.
Many victims said the way the company handles reports of sex assault needs to change.
“I thought it was an isolated incident. I though it was just one sick man,” one alleged victim said.
Victims from all over the country have been coming forward to share their accounts of alleged sex assault at the hands of their massage therapists.
According to a report by Buzzfeed, more than 180 women have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints against Massage Envy spas, their employees, and the national company.
“He lifted the sheet that was covering my pelvic area,” another woman claimed.
She went on to say graphically how she was sexually molested.
Initially listed as Jane Doe in legal documents, Tara Woodley felt emboldened to share her name and story in the wake of all the women speaking out against Hollywood heavyweights and government officials.
“I covered myself and shouted, ‘what?’ You know I didn’t even know how to respond in that situation,” she said.
She said she immediately called 911 and police arrested the therapist.
In West Chester, Pennsylvania, Susan Ingram was too disturbed to report her assault immediately. She called the manager after she got home.
“She said in a very apparently scripted response, ‘we invite you in to talk about your services.’ And I said, ‘no, no, no you don’t understand,” Ingram said.
Ingram filed a formal police report. James Deiter pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a total of nine female clients, and is now behind bars.
Citing court records, Buzzfeed said, “two of those women had tried to warn the spa about Deiter before Ingram had.”
Massage Envy locations are independently owned and operated. The company’s current policy does not require franchisees to notify police, except in the few states that require it.
It only recommends they support and assist clients who choose to report to police.,
In a statement, the company called the incident heartbreaking and said its current policies are based on “consultation with industry experts, and law enforcement officials who say victims of sexual assault should maintain control over the critical decision of whether to report sexual assault to law enforcement.”
“Their first protocol not being, ‘call the police when someone is sexually assaulted,’ is shocking,” Woodley said.
Ingram helped draft federal legislation that would require massage spas to report allegations to police.
In the meantime, Massage Envy said the incidents occurred over a span of 15 plus year, and 125-million massages. They have more than 1,000 locations.