CHICAGO (CBS) — Two women came forward Monday, saying they were sexually assaulted at an Old Town neighborhood massage center.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke with both women Monday. They did not want their names or faces shown and will be referred to in this story as “Jane Doe” and “Jane Doe 2,” reflecting the order in which they filed their complaints.READ MORE: Yasmin Perez Has Died, Days After Gruesome Humboldt Park Shooting That Also Killed Her Boyfriend, Gyovanni Arzuaga
But they did want their voices heard. They both said the same massage therapist sexually assaulted them just weeks apart at a Massage Envy at 1222 N. Wells St.
The personal injury law firm Levin & Perconti said a massage therapist removed Jane Doe 2’s towel and touching her buttocks and genital area.
“He started creeping into my genital area, and that’s when I kept wiggling my body, hoping that he would sense that I was uncomfortable,” Jane Doe 2 said.
In a civil complaint, Jane Doe 2 accuses the massage therapist of sexual assault at the Old Town Massage Envy last December.
“I was just so horrified by, you know, where he was touching me,” she said, “and as soon as it was over, I just ran out.”
Despite Jane Doe 2 telling Massage Envy staff about the assault, the masseur continued to work. The first Jane Doe accuses the same man of sexually assaulting her during an appointment weeks later.
“So when I say he was touching my genitals, I mean that. I mean that very seriously,” Jane Doe said, “and at one point, he literally started massaging my butt without permission.”
De Mar asked attorney Megan Shore, who represents both women, whether she thought the allegations in the women’s complaints were taken seriously.
“Absolutely not,” Shore said, “because if they were, we wouldn’t be here.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Shower Chance By Daybreak
Shore raises concerns about Massage Envy’s so-called zero-tolerance policy after the company was the target of more than 150 sexual assault allegations in 2017. Four lawsuits were filed in Chicago at that time.
In Jane Doe 2’s case, Levin & Perconti alleged Massage Envy managers did not report the incident to police and did not follow the zero-tolerance policy. They instead sent Jane Doe 2 a gift card for a free massage that she did not use, the law firm alleged.
The law firm claims Massage Envy shared the first Jane Doe’s personal information with a private investigator, who went on to pose falsely as a crisis intervention consultant “in a failed attempt to elicit information.”
The law firm further said the masseur had a past felony charge.
Shore said she suspects there could be even more victims out there.
“So now it’s up to me and the other girls that this happened to, to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone again,” Jane Doe 1 said.
There is at last one other woman who has filed a sexual assault complaint against the same massage therapist.
Massage Envy released the following statement:
“Massage Envy is committed to promoting a safe environment for members, guests and service providers at each of the over 1,100 franchised locations nationwide. We urge anyone who experiences anything other than a safe, quality massage to report it immediately to the franchised location so that it can be investigated. We cannot comment on pending allegations or litigation involving any independently owned and operated franchised location. However, the independently owned and operated franchisee who employed this individual has informed us that it has terminated the therapist’s employment.”
Massage Envy also noted that its Commitment to Safety was available at its company website.MORE NEWS: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You Get Another Relief Payment?
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