Report: More than 180 women reported sexual assault in Massage Envy franchises, including NorCal



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  •   A Mbadage Envy spa in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. More than 180 women claim to have been badually badaulted in the global spa chain, according to a BuzzFeed investigation published on Monday. Photo: Diane Macdonald # 80374 / Moment Editorial / Getty Images


Photo: Diane Macdonald # 80374 / Moment Editorial / Getty Images

A Mbadage Envy spa in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. More than 180 women claim to have been badually badaulted in the global spa chain, according to a BuzzFeed research published on Monday.

A Mbadage Envy spa in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. More than 180 women claim to have been badually badaulted in the global spa chain, according to a BuzzFeed investigation published on Monday.

Photo: Diane Macdonald # 80374 / Moment Editorial / Getty Images

Report: More than 180 women reported badual badault in the Mbadage Envy franchises, including NorCal


More than 180 women reported being badually badaulted in the global spa of Mbadage Envy, according to BuzzFeed research published on Monday .

Mbadage Envy employees reportedly committed badaults in locations across the country – the $ 1 billion business has just under 1,200 franchises in the United States. US, with 40 locations in the Bay Area – and reports range from oral and digital penetration to bad and bad shaking.

Many of the victims claim that Mbadage Envy mistreated or ignored their badault reports. The BuzzFeed report suggests that these reported incidents are only the tip of the iceberg, since the number does not include cases resolved outside the court or attacks that went unreported.

"Dozens of women reported oral and digital penetration," BuzzFeed wrote. One incident involved a "California woman who said she opened her eyes during a prenatal mbadage to find her mbadeuse sucking on her nipple." Two women reported incidents of badual badault in a Sacramento franchise, the only location in northern California cited in the investigation.

Mbadage Envy is not responsible for badual badaults that take place in spas "due to the nature of the franchise agreement," according to public statements and court filings obtained by BuzzFeed. Individual spas "control their own day-to-day operations," a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed, "including finding out the best way to investigate inappropriate behavior."

Franchise owners receive little guidance in that regard, BuzzFeed says, with the exception of a training video called "Behind Closed Doors," which advises therapists to address their guests' concerns "in a safe environment to retain them as a valuable customer and avoid negative attention. "

The company protocol does not require managers to contact local police or hire investigators, unless local law requires such actions, according to the report. Many of the women cited in the investigation approached law enforcement on their own, after they said that Mbadage Envy did not attend their badault reports. According to reports, some of the mbadeuses continued to care for clients, even after they were accused of badault.

"Some have kept mbadeurs on staff even after multiple complaints of misconduct," BuzzFeed alleges. "Others have quietly dismissed therapists without reporting their offenses to the police or state regulatory boards, allowing therapists to move toward new career opportunities with a clean record."

All Mbadage Envy therapists undergo a background check and are informed of the company's "zero tolerance policy" regarding inappropriate touches or actions "that infer badual suggestion or explicit baduality," a spokesperson said. to BuzzFeed. The names of the therapists who have violated the policy are entered into an internal database.

In response to SFGATE's request for comments, Mbadage Envy responded with the following statement:

"Each of these incidents is heartbreaking to us and to the franchisees who operate Mbadage Envy locations, and we will never stop searching ways to help our franchisees provide a safe environment at Mbadage Envy franchise locations. The article refers to 180 reported incidents that occurred over a period of 15 years and 125 million. However, we believe that even ONE incident is too much, so we are constantly listening, learning and evaluating how we can continue to strengthen our policies regarding the handling of these issues. "

BuzzFeed discovered that Mbadage Envy "never had to respond in a public hearing to a victim of badual badault in one of her spas," but that could change with a civil lawsuit that will go to court in January. "Eight women filed lawsuits against the same spa in Philadelphia.

In previous cases of aggression against Mbadage Envy, Buzzfeed says the lawyers argued that although the spas are independently owned, "it is the parent company that trains the employees in Mbadage Envy policies, it establishes operational standards such as the need to internally investigate and monitor the progress of those investigations, and as a result, the parent company must be held accountable for the failures of those policies. "

Michelle Robertson is a writer of SFGATE E-mail it to [email protected] or look it up on Twitter at @ mrobertsonsf .

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