(RNN) - More than 180 women have alleged they were sexually assaulted by therapists at Massage Envy, a chain of spas with almost 1,200 locations around the country, according to a report in Buzzfeed.
The company has been charged with knowing about the abuse and not doing much, if anything about it.
The company told USA Today that the incidents were “heartbreaking,” and said they occurred over a period of 15 years among 125 million massages.
In Washington, DC, a woman came forward and said she was getting a massage at the Massage Envy in Lanham, MD on Sept. 17 when therapist Habtamu Gebreslassie began performing oral sex on her against her will.
Tara Woodley came out this afternoon with her husband and her attorney saying she was the woman sexually assaulted at Massage Envy in September, by a masseur who is currently in jail. Woodley says she came forward after reports that more than 180 women have suffered with the spa pic.twitter.com/Y4722RrmvM— Sam Ford (@ABC7Sam) November 27, 2017
Woodley, who appeared before reporters with her attorney and her husband, said that she immediately ended the massage and called police. She said the therapist got on his knees, took her left hand and begged her not to tell anyone.
Gebreslassie was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a patient or client and is still in jail, WJLA reported.
Gebreslassie has been charged in at least three other incidents of sexual assault against women customers.
Woodley has filed a $25 million suit against Massage Envy accusing the company of covering up sexual assaults. She said she spoke up because so many other women began saying that similar things happened to them at Massage Envy locations.
Gebreslassie has been charged in at least three other incidents of sexual assault against customers.
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