Imagine going to the massage parlor for a relaxing time and you have someone sexually assault you. It’s the worst experience ever not to mention shocking and scary!
A male masseur working for a massage chain based in Maryland is scaring away women clients who supposedly wish to relieve their stresses with a relaxing body treatment. After an indulging massage, several women clients have a traumatizing experience with the masseur who appears to be a sexual assailant.
A lawsuit of sexually abusing a woman was filed by “Jane Doe” against Habtamy Gebreselassie of the Massage Envy DC branch last Tuesday. According to the complainant, the 24-year-old masseur pulled off her towel and licked her vagina without any invitation, warning or consent. After making his move he fell down to his knees to apologize, but Doe is not accepting it.
Masseur Habtamu Gebreselassie has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman who booked an appointment at the Massave Envy.
The victim said she was naked during the whole massage with the towel serving as her only cover. She revealed that it was in the final 15 minutes of her 90-minute massage appointment that Habtamu assaulted her. The suit she filed claims Habtamu moved the sheet out of Doe and started to lick her, leaving the customer in fear and shock. Although he apologized, Doe revealed that Habtamu refused to leave the room despite telling him over six times that they were done.
Victim Jane Doe said Habtamu licked her genital while he was massaging her at the Massage Envy DC branch.
Doe then headed to the police to report the sexual assault that occurred at the branch located at 4926 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, DC. She was given a rape kit to test for possible acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases but the results are yet to be released. Habtamu was then arrested and it was found out that Doe wasn’t his only victim.
According to the lawsuit, Doe wasn’t the only victim of Habtamu as there were three other women whom he touched inappropriately in the past.
Shockingly, Habtamu already previous three sexual assault incidents before the case with Doe. The Ethiopia native masseur was however only charged on two alleged incidents.
Despite the assault claims against the masseur, the Envy Massage Franchise– the mother company of the branch he is currently working for – only moved him to other branches instead of firing him as a countermeasure for his sexual misconduct. One of his previous assaults occurred at the chain’s DC branch before he was sent off to the Bowie, Maryland franchise where he had his second victim last June 20.
The suit said Massage Envy is aware of Habtamu’s misbehavior as previous victims complained to the management but did not dismiss the masseur from work.
The first victim reportedly told the police that Habtamu inappropriately touched her while giving her a massage at the DC branch. According to the suit though, Envy Massage does not have a location on the reported 2000 block of P Street NW in DC address.
The second victim at the Maryland branch had almost the same experience as Habtamu also inappropriately touched her during the massage, even leaving her bruised and feeling uncomfortable. The woman then complained to the management and demanded her membership canceled to which the branch refused to. Instead, they offered her with a free spa package and assured her that the assailant was already shipped off to a DC branch.
As a result, Doe is demanding for $25 million worth of compensation for humiliation and distress from Habtamu and Massage Envy.
The third incident reportedly happened on August 28, where a 66-year-old woman was being given a massage by the infamous masseur at the DC Massage Envy. Like the first two victims, Habtamu inappropriately touched the old lady. She claimed that she shouted at him and the masseur then fell to his knees and told her: “I’ve never done this before. I don’t know what got into me.”
The old woman went back to the branch to complain to the location’s manager on September 5. The branch then let him keep his job and only gave him additional training. However, three weeks after the third victim, Doe was assaulted.
Investigating on Habtamu, he has a woman with him but it is unclear if they are still together. He is now in jail without bond.
The parties appeared in the court last September 21 where Jane Doe demanded over $25 million compensation for damages for ‘fear, emotional distress and humiliation’ that she will suffer for the rest of her life. Habtamu declined a plea agreement and was held without bond. He will again appear in court on 11.
Massage Envy finally fired the masseur they kept after multiple sexual assaultcomplaints. Media outlets tried to get the company’s statement about the case but only responded:
”We do not comment on ongoing legal matters.”
We can say that Massage Envy Franchising has a Zero Tolerance Policy on inappropriate conduct and requires its franchisees to conduct fair, thorough and objective investigations with respect to any allegation of inappropriate conduct.
We are evaluating any additional information we receive to verify that requirement was met in this instance.”