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Massage Envy facing allegations of sexual assault at numerous locations

Massage Envy facing allegations of sexual assault at numerous locations

A Delaware County woman is speaking publicly about the sexual assault she endured at a Chester County Massage Envy franchise as a new report alleges there are dozens more victims like her across the country.

Massage Envy therapists faced sexual harassment allegations from more than 180 women, BuzzFeed reported its investigation revealed. The chain and its franchises have largely ignored or mishandled the complaints, according to claims against the company.

After five years, Kandice Martellaro says she can't shake the anger over what happened to her at Massage Envy and how it was handled.

In another statement reported by NY Daily News, Massage Envy said: "Each of these incidents are heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate Massage Envy locations", the company said in a statement.

The American Massage Therapy Association told BuzzFeed that "anyone who feels there may be inappropriate behavior to call the local police immediately" and that "any massage therapist who steps over the line to inappropriate touch should face the legal consequences". A California woman said she opened her eyes during a prenatal massage to find her masseuse with his mouth on her breast.

A Massage Envy sign.

Massage Envy said in a statement: "We hold franchise owners accountable to our policies and, when we say nothing is more important to us than treating clients with respect and giving them a safe, professional experience, we mean it".

There is one Massage Envy location in the Quad Cities metro area, on Elmore Avenue in Davenport.

After calling the spa to report an assault in which her massage therapist, James Dieter (who has since pled guilty to assaulting nine women), groped her and rubbed his erect penis on her, Susan Ingram says a manager refused to interrupt Deiter's massage session.

She told CBS News that she was groped "roughly and aggressively" by Deiter, noting that she was "really in a state of shock, disbelief, fear".

The victims according to the findings say they reported the assault to management but authorities were never contacted.

Prior to Ingram's civil lawsuit, Massage Envy never had to respond to a customer in court concerning allegations of sexual assault.