Oregon women among those suing Massage Envy over assault claims - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon women among those suing Massage Envy over assault claims

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(KPTV) -

More than 180 people across the country, including three women in Oregon, are suing the spa chain Massage Envy for millions, claiming massage therapists were involved in sexual misconduct.

The company made national headlines Sunday following a report from Buzzfeed sharing the stories of many women who said they had been assaulted.

Then Monday a woman in Washington D.C. came forward after filing a civil lawsuit against the company in September under a pseudonym claiming she too had been assaulted and that her accused attacker had been transferred from another location where he had faced similar accusations.

At least four therapists who've worked for Massage Envy in Oregon have been accused of sexual assault during the past seven years, and one of those therapists is at the center of three lawsuits filed by former clients.

In three different lawsuits that in total ask for more than $10 million in damages, three different women claim they were touched inappropriately or sexually assaulted during a visit to a Massage Envy in Bend.

Christopher Rosario is the therapist accused in those cases. He's still awaiting a criminal trial.

Another therapist, Sean Elder, was convicted a few months ago in Clackamas County of third-degree sexual abuse.

This January, former Massage Envy therapist Benajamin Collura was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually abusing a woman at the River's Edge Hotel and Spa in Portland.

A fourth therapist in Springfield was accused of sexual assault in 2012 and 2013 while working at Massage Envy. Criminal charges were never filed, but the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists pulled his license.

In a statement Monday, company officials with Massage Envy said the claims of assault nationwide mentioned by Buzzfeed spanned over a period of more than 15 years and said each account was heartbreaking.

"The article references 180 reported incidents. These occurred over a span of 15 plus years and 125 million massages. But, we believe that even ONE incident is too many, so we are constantly listening, learning, and evaluating how we can continue to strengthen our policies with respect to handling of these issues.

"Each of these incidents is heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate Massage Envy locations, and we will never stop looking for ways to help our franchisees provide a safe environment at Massage Envy franchise locations."

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