TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – A Tampa woman has filed a lawsuit claiming she was groped in a massage parlor in Westchase.
The 52-year-old registered nurse, whom we are not identifying, told News Channel 8 she’s still shaken by this experience. In fact, five months after the incident, she still hasn’t told her children.
The woman says she’s been visiting Essentials Massage and Facials for five years. But on July 19, she got a session with a 21-year-old man and the experience left her feeling horrified.
“The massage therapist crossed the boundary and violated her,” said attorney Adam Horowitz.
The woman claims the man moved her underwear and fondled her.
“I was so shocked. I felt so violated. I just wanted to get out of there,” she said. “I’m very strong, but this shakes you to the core.”
She filed a report with the sheriff’s office but charges have not been filed at this time, so she’s suing in civil court.
“We want to expose that this is happening and we want to ensure that this massage therapist who has been accused in this lawsuit, is not practicing massage therapy in this setting again,” said Horowitz.
“Perhaps the DNA evidence, when it does come in will sway the State Attorney’s office to bring criminal charges,” Horowitz added.
We went to the massage parlor, but the manager declined to comment. Attempts to reach the message therapist listed in the suit were unsuccessful.
The woman tells us this civil lawsuit was a last resort.
“This is my only way…Something has to be done. I don’t know what else to do,” she explained.
“We hope this sends a message to the massage industry that they need to screen massage therapists very carefully. They need to take allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously,” said Horowitz.
The massage therapist is still licensed by the state and listed on the company’s website. A state database lists no complaints against this business.