Another massage therapist has been arrested for reportedly assaulting his clients, the Des Moines Register says, reporting on the case against Gage Sheldon Bauer, a 26-year-old who owns and operates “Mr. Massage Iowa,” a business in Clive.
Sex Abuse Charges For Licensed Massage Therapist
At least two women have reported Bauer’s alleged misconduct to law enforcement officials, accusing the licensed massage therapist of performing sex acts on them during massage sessions.
Bauer has been charged with intent to commit sex abuse and sexual abuse in the third degree. He is being held without bond by Clive police in anticipation of his first court appearance. One of his accusers is 17-years-old.
Massage Envy Lawsuits Throw Spa Industry Into Question
While there’s no evidence that Bauer was ever employed at a Massage Envy, the case is yet another reminder that women who walk into massage therapy sessions across the country may be in significant danger. Hundreds of women have come out against Massage Envy in recent months, accusing therapists at the nation’s largest massage chain of inappropriate sexual conduct.
In dozens upon dozens of civil lawsuits, plaintiffs who were once Massage Envy customers say the company’s own internal policies discouraged employees from reporting cases of alleged abuse to the police, allowing dangerous therapists to remain at work.
Spa Chain Partners For Change
The furor over Massage Envy’s allegedly lax assault policies have shocked the company to its core. In recent weeks, Massage Envy has committed itself to a slate of new changes that hope to stem the tide of horrific assaults that have occurred across the country and, in many jurisdictions, led to legal action.
Expanded background checks and mandatory reporting are being implemented, alongside a high-profile partnership with RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which will help to review and revise Massage Envy’s internal policies going forward.
New Allegations Against Massage Envy Therapists
At the same time, new reports of sexual assault at franchise locations continue to emerge.
Former Massage Envy Employee Charged In Iowa
In Iowa, former Massage Envy therapist Mitchell Le Dac Ho, 28-years-old, is now facing three charges of criminal sexual conduct, after he allegedly assaulted three clients at a franchise location in Eden Prairie between March 2016 and January 2017. The latest accusation against Ho emerged on February 5, 2018.
Georgia Massage Envy Hit By Assault Lawsuit
In Georgia, massage therapists who worked at four Atlanta Massage Envy locations have now been accused of assault, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The latest lawsuit was filed in March 2018, with allegations that, in 2016, a therapist at the Massage Envy on Howell Mill Road “inserted his finger into [a] woman’s vagina” at the end of a massage session. The complaint claims that franchise owner Atlanta Health Solutions knew about previous allegations against the therapist, named in court documents as Zebulun James Garner, but continued to employ him.
Oregon Therapist Pleads No Contest To Misconduct Charges
And in Oregon, a former Massage Envy therapist who worked in Bend just pleaded no contest to four out of nine sexual assault charges against him. In offering a no-contest plea, Christopher Rosario, 39-years-old, conceded to the charges without admitting guilt. The allegations stem from the reports of multiple women who say Rosario touched them inappropriately during massage sessions at a Massage Envy franchise location at the Cascade Village Shopping Center.