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New York Massage Therapist Sexual Assault Lawyer

Massage therapy is a legitimate therapeutic treatment. To work as a massage therapist, masseur, or masseuse in New York, training in massage therapy and licensing by the New York State Department of Education are required. Massage therapy does not involve sexual contact. Unfortunately, there are many cases in which massage therapists behaved unethically, inappropriately, and criminally by making nonconsensual sexual contact with their clients. Massage therapists who sexually abuse their clients should be held accountable for their actions. If you were sexually assaulted by a massage therapist, masseur, or masseuse, contact an experienced New York massage therapist sexual assault lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience fighting for justice for victims, we are here to help.

Sexual Assault by Massage Therapists

Massage therapy is naturally a very intimate experience. The client is often naked. The massage therapist touches a large part of the body. The environment is relaxing, often with dim lights and soothing music. However, the experience is not intended to be sexual. Massage therapists who make it a sexual experience by abusing their clients take advantage of the vulnerable position of their clients. Examples of how a massage therapist may sexually abuse clients:

  • The massage involves a nonconsensual, sexual act. A massage at a legitimate, reputable business should not involve sex. The client should not be penetrated by the massage therapist with anything or in any way.
  • The massage therapist fondles the client’s sexual parts. A massage therapist should not touch a client’s genitalia, buttocks, or breasts. If the massage therapist determines that they need to touch any of those parts or touch near them, they should first ask the client and should immediately stop when asked.
  • The massage therapist asks for sex. A massage therapist should not ask the client to engage in sexual acts, suggest that the client engage in sexual acts, or force the client to engage in sexual acts with them.
  • The massage therapist engages in lewd acts. The massage therapist should not expose their sexual parts to the client or touch themselves in a sexually suggestive way in front of a client.
  • The massage therapist exposes parts of your body that you do not want exposed. The massage therapist should not remove the towel or blanket, lift or open a rob, or remove the client’s clothes to reveal parts of the body such as genitalia that the client does not want exposed.

If any of these things happened to you, contact an experienced New York massage therapist sexual assault lawyer to discuss your legal options for holding the assailant accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.

Adult Survivors Act

For many different reasons, sexual assault is an underreported crime. Victims often experience extreme trauma and are emotionally distraught. As a result, they are not always able or willing to report the assault to law enforcement or even friends and family. It may take them a significant amount of time to process the assault and be able to report it. In some cases years pass before they report it. Because of fear, embarrassment, and denial, there have been many reports that victims of massage therapist sexual assault come forward only after they learn about other victims. By that time, the statute of limitations may have passed, making it legally impossible for them to file a claim for compensation.

Recognizing the barriers that victims face in reporting sexual assault, on May 24, 2022, New York Governor Hochul signed the Adults Survivors Act. For a limited time, the law allows victims of sexual assault to file civil claims against their assailants even though the statute of limitations has passed. To take advantage of the limited opportunity provided by the Adult Survivors Act, victims must file their lawsuits between November 24, 2022 and November 23, 2023. Because of the short time period for filing claims under the Adult Survivors Act, contact an experienced massage therapist sexual assault attorney in New York right away.

Compensation for Victims

Victims of crimes such as sexual assault are entitled to compensation for the losses they suffered as a result for the crime. If the victim was physically injured and incurred medical bills, they can demand that the assailant reimburse them for the medical expenses. If the victim missed work due to recovering from injuries caused by the attack, lost wages and loss of earning capacity are also compensable.

When it comes to sexual assault, the bases for the most significant amount of compensation are pain and suffering and punitive damages. Pain and suffering damages compensates the victim for the physical and psychological suffering they experience as a result of the sexual abuse. Victims often suffer from severe psychological trauma that can take years to recover from, if ever. Punitive damage compensation is designed to punish those whose actions are particularly heinous. Courts generally find that punitive damages are appropriate in sexual assault cases. For more information about the compensation to which you may be entitled, contact an experienced massage therapist sexual assault lawyer serving New York.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Stephen Bilkis & Associates is committed to fighting for the rights of those who have been victimized. Whether you were assaulted recently or years ago, contact us to discuss your legal options. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Westchester County.

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