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More than 150 women report sex assault incidents at Massage Envy spas

More than 150 women report sex assault incidents at Massage Envy spas

According to the investigation, more than 180 customers have filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports or complaints against the national company, individual franchised spas and their employees.

Massage Envy is one of the largest chain of massage franchises in the US, touting a reputation of professionalism, but BuzzFeed said its investigation brought to light dozens of sexual assault lawsuits, complaints and police reports against the national business.

In one instance, a therapist in his 60s pleaded guilty to sexually molesting nine women while working at a Massage Envy in West Chester, Pennsylvania from 2014 to 2015.

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.

Danielle Dick, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, shared her story this morning on the ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" show about a sexual assault at a Massage Envy Spa in Henrico County. The incident took place during her seventh session with a highly-recommended masseur named James Deiter, who was reportedly in his 60s.

Massage Envy says any violation of its zero-tolerance policy by a therapist requires termination.

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"She said in a very apparently scripted response, 'We invite you in to talk about your services.' And I said, 'No, no, no you don't understand."

According to court documents, Ingram was not the first to be assaulted by Deiter-however, when two previous clients also tried reporting their experiences, the spa ignored their allegations, saying they weren't credible because the women refused to return to the spa to discuss their experiences.

Public records indicate Philip Proetto owns the Upper East Side franchise, but Proetto declined to comment, referring questions to Massage Envy's corporate offices, which has not provided a statement. The alleged victims claim that the franchise company policy allowed workers to engage in the unwanted sexual behavior.

"Massage Envy is a partner in crime", Ingram said. "That's why we will never stop reinforcing to our franchisees the importance of a safe environment".

The Post reported at the time that the company said its franchises are required to complete extensive background and reference checks and enforce a zero-tolerance policy.