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New misconduct allegations levied against Massage Envy therapists


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New misconduct allegations levied against Massage Envy therapists

By Darcy Spears. CREATED Jul 17, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Contact 13 is uncovering new cases of massage therapists accused of crossing the line. This time, the allegation includes other staff refusing to call for help after an attack.

"I felt violated. I know I was violated." 

"I'm in shock. I'm in fear."

"I couldn't believe that it was happening."

Since February, Contact 13 has documented many voices of victims of alleged sexual misconduct at Massage Envy, all filled with fear and outrage. And the number continues to grow.

"At this point she's in a state of shock. I mean he is a big man. She is a grandmother, actually. And she didn't know what to do," said Attorney Nadia von Magdenko, describing an attack her client allegedly endured at the Blue Diamond Massage Envy on March 18.

"It was her birthday. She received a gift certificate for a massage. She had actually never had a massage before in her life. So this is a very special occasion for her."

von Magdenko said her client, who we'll call Susie, was too traumatized to talk on camera. While receiving a massage, she said her therapist put his genitals in her client's hand and moved her underwear in order to fondle her.

"And during this process, she's a deer in headlights. You know, he could choke her for all she knows. And she's just frozen, enduring, waiting for it to end."

When her client tried to report the alleged assault, von Magdenko said staff at Massage Envy refused to call police.

"Susie pleaded over and over again for them to call 911 for her and Massage Envy refused."

Shaking and crying, Susie called police herself. They responded, took a report and now have an active criminal investigation. Police said no charges have been filed because they're waiting on lab results from DNA samples they took.

The incident is not only being investigated by police, the State Board of Massage Therapy launched its own investigation.

The therapist, who we're not naming because he hasn't been charged, isn't giving any more massages. He voluntarily surrendered his license in May.

Contact 13 spoke to his attorney, who said he cooperated with police, gave a statement and DNA sample and is adamant he did nothing wrong.

Massage Envy refuses to go on camera. Instead, the company sent a written statement, saying, "This alleged incident was the first and only inappropriate conduct complaint made regarding," that therapist.

But it wasn't the only complaint. Contact 13 uncovered another, reported days before the latest alleged incident.

The therapist was accused of breaching the code of conduct and confidentiality after starting a relationship with a female client, something the state board confirms should have led to him being fired.

If that complaint had been handled appropriately, the state board said the therapist would not have been there on March 18, the day of the alleged assault.

"It's just unacceptable to put other women at risk," said von Magdenko.

But as we've documented in previous reports, therapists can and do keep their jobs, even after being accused of misconduct, and even though Massage Envy repeatedly points to its zero-tolerance policy.

Take Limmie Young, who'd had three complaints of inappropriate conduct at the Massage Envy on Grand Canyon, before facing lawsuits over two more at Massage Envy Centennial. 

Therapist Nathan Scott is being sued for sexual violations in June 2013 at the same, Blue Diamond Massage Envy involved in the ongoing police investigation. 

We can now add a fourth location and therapist to our timeline from October 2013: Spencer Davis and Massage Envy on South Rainbow.

In early June, Davis surrendered his license after admitting he "engaged in inappropriate conduct" by touching a female client "in a sexual manner."

Though Massage Envy notified the state board in that case, they admit they did not report the incident to police.

Davis declined to tell his side of the story when we reached out to him.

Just this month, he was cited again. This time, for advertising massage therapy services without a license.

von Magdenko and many others believe there are many more victims out there.

"But women are scared to come forward. And with this type of reporting and getting the message out, it's important that people are brave enough to actually step forward."

In the cases of Spencer Davis and the therapist accused in Susie's case, Massage Envy insists it did follow its zero-tolerance policy, adding it is cooperating with police in their investigation. 

Across the country, we've now documented 28 Massage Envy therapists in 14 states who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

Darcy Spears

Darcy Spears

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Darcy Spears is currently the Chief Investigative Reporter for Action News.