A woman claims she was taken advantage of and sexually assaulted by her male massage therapist during a session at a Massage Envy location in Houston.
She’s now suing the franchise owner for reportedly allowing the alleged repeat offender to continue ]working.
The woman spoke to FOX 26 exclusively to share her side of the story. She said she was too frightened initially to say anything, but now she wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Christy Babineaux said she was alarmed when her male massage therapist at Massage Envy Copperfield off Hwy 6, begin touching her inappropriately during a session in late January.
“I went in January and it started out as a regular massage visit. Then this visit, he kind of went underneath the covers. He massaged my breasts which I had no clothing of course. So, I felt really, really uncomfortable. Then he went down even lower to, like, the private part and at this time he told me to turn over, then he massaged me buttocks area,” Christy said.
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Christy said she got so uncomfortable, she tried to leave but wasn’t able to.
“He told me well I need to crack your back. I feel knots in your back. He told me to stand up. At this time, I’m still undressed. I’m naked. And when I stood up, he kind of came from behind and he put his arms around me from the back and when I turned around, he had his private part out. It was erect and he was like trying to hold me and I started crying. I said what are you doing, you know? Put that away please. And that’s when he said, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I got carried away,” Christy said.
“In my mind, I’m thinking how can I get out of here? How can I leave this room without being violated or raped?” Christy continued.
Christy said the man stayed in the room as she got dressed then proceeded to follow her outside to her car. She said she was so afraid, she quickly left without reporting the incident to anyone and went home to tell her husband.
It wasn’t until she called back the location to report the incident that the general manager told her this wasn’t the first time.
Christy’s attorneys Kent Schaffer and Andrew Dao are now suing the Massage Envy franchise owner, Guthrie Enterprises, for allowing the man to continue working, even during the investigation.
“The fact that this was something the business was aware of that this man may have had a propensity to do these sorts of things, makes it even more egregious. This is a situation where this lady went to the most mainstream, massage studio in the city, if not in the country. She trusted them, and they betrayed that trust,” said Schaffer.
“It’s also important to remember that this case isn’t a ‘he said-she said.’ It’s something where they’ve admitted to our client that’s happened before. But also, they’ve taken this approach where in the sense of, allowing him to go unchecked and allow him to massage other customers at this location. They’re not properly screening these people,” Dao said.
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In a statement, Massage Envy responded saying, ”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.”
FOX 26 has decided not to name the accused man, because no criminal charges have been filed.
However, on Thursday, Christy’s attorneys said she met with police and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to file a criminal report.
FOX 26 also reached out to the franchise owner and general manager at the location several times, but so far, have not heard back.
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Wichita Police Department arrested a 32-year-old massage therapist from Belle Plaine on charges of sexual battery. Wichita police said the arrest of Zachary Sample stems from an investigation conducted by the department’s Domestic Violence/Sex Crimes unit.
This began on May 23 when WPD officers responded to a report from a 38-year-old woman that a male massage therapist had sexually assaulted her during a massage at an east Wichita business.
Police said the massage therapist, identified as Sample, worked at the business at that time. During the month of May, Wichita police reported two more women, ages 29 and 26, also reported that Sample sexually assaulted them.
“After an extensive follow-up by detectives, a warrant was issued for Sample’s arrest through the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office,” Wichita police said.
Police said officers arrested Sample Thursday night and he was booked on three charges of sexual battery.
Copyright 2022 KWCH. All rights reserved.
A Denton County woman filed a lawsuit against a nationwide massage therapy company Tuesday, claiming she was sexually assaulted. Jane Doe, whose identity is concealed court documents because of the nature of her allegation, says she received massage therapy treatments at an Elements Massage franchise in Frisco for two years before she was matched with a licensed male therapist. That therapist, she says, groped her genitals.
The lawsuit, filed in Collin County, claims that after two years of receiving treatments at the massage parlor, she requested a special deep tissue massage that only certain therapists at the location were licensed to perform.
Jane Doe ‘‘matched’ with a male therapist who in January 2021 after two initial sessions “took advantage of Plaintiff’s vulnerable state of undress to assault her,” the lawsuit alleges.
The massage began normally. But an hour into a 90-minute session, the suit alleges, the therapist “continued moving his hands along Plaintiff’s legs, and then without warning and without Plaintiff’s consent … touched Plaintiff’s vagina with his hands and began rubbing Plaintiff’s vagina.” The therapist then ”grabbed her butt crack,” court documents say.
Dallas-based attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel, who represented multiple plaintiffs in sexual assault cases against disgraced former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, is bringing the case against Elements.
“What we’ve seen is a pattern of similar situations where people have come forward with other issues against therapists who are employees of different Elements businesses, ranging from Utah, to California, Long Island, Arizona and Texas,” Tuegel said.
Jane Doe suffered ongoing damages to her mental and emotional health after leaving Elements’ Frisco location. “As a result of the assault, Plaintiff experienced shock, fear, panic, and embarrassment,” court documents say.
“Additionally, in the months following the assault, Plaintiff struggled and continues to struggle to perform her job duties,” the documents add. “As a result of the assault, Plaintiff sought out and continues to see a therapist to address the trauma resulting from the assault.”
Neither Elements corporate headquarters nor representatives from Elements’ Frisco franchise responded to requests for comment.
Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic language.
First plaintiff accuses John Travolta of propositioning, groping during massage
“None of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred,” Travolta’s rep says
Lawsuit: First incident allegedly happened January 16, 2012, at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Travolta was on the East Coast that day, his lawyer says
A federal lawsuit accusing John Travolta of assault and sexual battery on two massage therapists includes lurid details of one of the alleged incidents. Travolta’s lawyer soundly rejected the claims of both plaintiffs and called the claims of the first plaintiff “complete fiction.”
In the first incident, Travolta allegedly groped a male massage therapist repeatedly and finally masturbated himself during the two-hour session in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel on January 16, 2012, according to court documents filed last Friday.
The first plaintiff, a Texas native who is unidentified in the court documents, “suffered severe emotional distress,” the lawsuit claims. The lawsuit is asking for $2 million in damages.
“This lawsuit is a complete fiction and fabrication,” a statement from Travolta’s representative said. “None of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred.”
A second male therapist, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Travolta at an Atlanta hotel on January 25, was added to the lawsuit Tuesday.
“This second ‘anonymous’ claim is just as absurd and ridiculous as the first one,” said Travolta lawyer Martin Singer on Tuesday afternoon.
The Travolta statement questions why the first plaintiff is identified only as “John Doe” in the court filing.
“The plaintiff, who refuses to give their name, knows that the suit is a baseless lie,” the statement said. “It is for that reason that the plaintiff hasn’t been identified with a name even though it is required to do so.”
Travolta’s statement said plaintiffs’ attorney Okorie Okorocha filed the suit to “get his 15 minutes of fame.” Once it is thrown out of court, Travolta will sue him for “malicious prosecution,” it said.
Okorocha, who said his practice specializes in going after sexual predators, said he is not intimidated.
“There are many potential plaintiffs, but I am only adding them as I am able to fully investigate and vet them,” Okorocha said.
Singer said it is “easily provable” that Travolta was not in California on the day the first incident allegedly happened “since John Travolta was on the East Coast working on a movie on the date that anonymous ‘Doe No. 1’ claims he interacted with our client.”
Okorocha said he was in discussions with Travolta’s lawyer for weeks before filing the suit last week and was never told this.
“I would not have filed it if they had indicated they had even McDonalds receipt to show he was anywhere but California,” Okorocha said.
Travolta was photographed at an event in Los Angeles about 30 hours before the alleged incident, he said.
Travolta and his lawyer “already conceded he was in Los Angeles on January 16, and we can prove it,” Okorocha said.
Singer said it was “obvious” that Okorocha “checked media reports that my client was in Atlanta working on a movie” before filing the second claim about an incident at an Atlanta hotel.
“However, the claim by Doe No. 2 is just as fabricated as the claim by Doe No. 1,” Singer said. “Our client will be fully vindicated in court on both of these absurd and fictional claims.”
Travolta, 58, has been married to actress Kelly Preston for 20 years. The oldest of their three children, Jett, was 16 when he died of a seizure while the family was vacationing in the Bahamas in January 2009.
2009: Travoltas mourn the loss of their son Jett
The lawsuit, obtained by CNN, alleges that Travolta called the first plaintiff, who advertises online with “professionally themed ads,” to arrange for a massage at $200 an hour. Travolta picked him up in a black Lexus SUV at a Beverly Hills address and drove him to the hotel, according to the lawsuit.
When they entered the bungalow, Travolta “shamelessly stripped naked” in front of a professional chef and the plaintiff, the lawsuit states.
“He wants me to get on the table, can you believe that?” Travolta told the chef, according to the document.
“For the first hour the massage was without incident, other than he kept purposefully sliding the towel down that covered his buttocks to reveal about half of gluteus area,” the suit states.
The massage therapist repeatedly slid the towel back up 10 times in the first hour, “reminding Defendant that state law required that a massage client be fully draped during the massage,” the suit states.
When Travolta “started to rub Plaintiff’s leg,” he “thought it was accidental,” it said.
Later, however, there was more touching by Travolta “and this time Plaintiff told Defendant to please not touch him again,” the complaint said.
“Defendant apologized, but then snickered to himself like a mischievous child,” it said.
The lawsuit then described Travolta allegedly touching and grabbing the massage therapist’s penis.
“This was painful and uncomfortable,” the suit said. Travolta apologized and suggested they “must have gotten our signals crossed,” and that he thought that the massage therapist “wanted the same thing he did,” it said. “Defendant then tried to act like it was a simple misunderstanding.”
Travolta then asked him to switch places on the table for a “reverse massage,” the lawsuit states.
Travolta allegedly offered to perform a sexual act on the therapist.
Although the therapist “felt very afraid for his safety,” he agreed to stay and continue with the massage after Travolta told him “OK, I’ll behave myself,” the suit said.
Travolta’s statement “gave plaintiff confidence that his predatory behavior was finally under control,” the suit said.
When he resumed with a deep tissue massage on his shoulders, Travolta told him, “Say something nice to me,” it said.
Travolta, who allegedly began masturbating, then got up and screamed at the plaintiff “how selfish he was; that Defendant got where he is now due to sexual favors he had performed when he was in his ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ days,” the suit said.
Hollywood is controlled by homosexual men “who expect favors in return for sexual activity,” the lawsuit document quotes Travolta as saying.
“Defendant then went on to say how he had done things in his past that would make most people throw up,” it said.
The complaint said Travolta told the therapist that “he was smart enough to learn to enjoy it, and when he began to make millions of dollars, that it all became well worth it.”
When the therapist refused to take part, Travolta said, “No problem. I will find new friends,” the suit said.
He then offered to call a “Hollywood starlet” who wanted “three-way sex,” but “they needed to have sex together first before calling her, so this way they would be in-sync with each other sexually,” the suit said.
The actor told him he could “make millions and be famous” if he lost some weight and adapted to same-sex relations, the suit said.
When the therapist threatened to call police if he was not returned to where he was picked up, Travolta drove him back, although calling him “selfish” and a “loser” on the way, it said.
He paid the therapist $800, double the $400 owed for the two hours, the suit said.