Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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Confidential Settlement – Hotel Spa Guest Sexually Assaulted During Massage starstarstarstarstar

Massage therapist sexual abuse has become rampant in the United States.  Although committed by just a small percentage of therapists, the hazards are real and the damage caused extensive.

A relaxing massage turned tragic when a resort hotel guest was sexually assaulted by her massage therapist.  The woman had paid for a massage at a major resort hotel’s spa.  The massage therapist  began providing a standard massage but during the course of the massage he sexually assaulted the guest.  Leighton Law’s John Elliott Leighton represented the visiting guest against the hotel.  The hotel maintained that the spa was operated by an independent contractor (even though the guest had no indication of that and the billing and reservations were all through the hotel).  A confidential settlement was reached to recover damages for this tourist.

Why are massage sexual assaults such a problem?  Because those who are victimized are violated when they are at their most vulnerable.  Many survivors of massage sexual abuse will never be able to have a massage again. Many become fearful, suffer post traumatic stress disorder or even find they are unable to trust or function.   The need to bring this conduct out in the open, and hold operators of these facilities responsible, is one way to help stop this behavior. The need for corporate accountability is essential. They need to have appropriate hiring, retention and supervision and proper background checks.  Without oversight and accountability this crime will continue.