Former Upstate masseur among Massage Envy employees accused of s - FOX Carolina 21

Former Upstate masseur among Massage Envy employees accused of sex abuse nation-wide

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Masseur giving back massage., (file/AP Images) Masseur giving back massage., (file/AP Images)

More than 180 Massage Envy clients across the United States have filed sexual assault lawsuits, including one in the Upstate that led to the masseur losing his license to practice, documents state.

The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation ruled to revoke the license of a former masseur of Massage Envy in Greenville after a client accused the masseur of sexual misconduct during the massage.

The female client claimed the male masseur “made suggestive comments during the massage, massaged too close to her bare vaginal area and massaged her bare breast,” documents state.

The woman said she asked the man to move to another area when he came too close to her vaginal area and that she asked him to stop the massage completely when he began to massage her bare breast.

The panel found her testimony to be credible.

The initial massage took pace in August of 2009 and the documents state the woman reported the incident to Massage Envy in a letter in September of 2009. The masseur testified that the allegations were false and that he was very professional during the massage, but the panel did not find the testimony credible.

Dozens of nation-wide lawsuits

The sexual misconduct claim in the Upstate is one of at least 180 others nationwide, alleging sexual misconduct against Massage Envy spas, their employees and the national company, per an investigative report by the website BuzzFeed News.

The claims range from victims saying their massage therapist groped their genitals to oral penetration.

Per the BuzzFeed News article, many of the victims believe their claims were mishandled or ignored by employees and owners of the individual Massage Envy Spas.

In a statement Monday, Massage Envy said the complaints spanned a 15-year period, but that each account was unacceptable.

"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," the company said.

READ MORE: Report: Many clients claim sex abuse at Massage Envy spas

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