An example of a person receiving a massage at a spa. Photo from Pixabay.
An example of a person receiving a massage at a spa. Photo from Pixabay.

A 30-year-old customer of Massage Envy in Brentwood is suing the company and a masseuse, alleging he inappropriately touched her during a session in June.

The plaintiff is identified only as Jane Doe in her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Thursday against Massage Envy and employee Marvin Mizell, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring. She is seeking unspecified damages.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of similar cases brought against Massage Envy, which previously released a statement about the multitude of allegations.

“Throughout Massage Envy’s 15-year history, safety in the treatment room has been — and always will be — paramount,” the statement read. “The recent, heartbreaking stories of sexual assault suffered in Massage Envy franchise locations caused us to take a hard look at our business and at how we protect the members and guests who have placed their trust in the brand.”

Doe has a history of back pain and had spinal surgery in 2001, according to her court papers, which say she has relied since 2009 on monthly massages to alleviate her pain.

Her first appointment on May 31 with Mizell, an expert in deep tissue massage, went well, the suit states. When she returned for a second massage on June 13, Mizell inappropriately touched her during a session lasting more than two hours, the suit alleges.

“At this point, Jane Doe knew she was in trouble and became scared and fearful to speak up,” the suit says.

The plaintiff objected to the alleged misconduct by Mizell and batted his hand away from a particularly objectionable area he was inappropriately touching, the suit states.

“Mizell had `massaged’ and violated Jane Doe for 130 long, terrifying minutes, 40 minutes longer than the allotted time,” the complaint alleges.

Mizell, a certified masseuse, knew that Doe was vulnerable while she was behind closed doors, undressed and lying on a massage table, according to the suit.

“He used this relationship to affect his own sexual desires and interests without concern for or the consent of plaintiff Jane Doe,” the complaint alleges.

–City News Service

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