Woman sues D.C. Massage Envy for alleged assault

Published: Sep. 28, 2017 at 1:26 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2017 at 3:24 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) - A woman filed a $25 million lawsuit against a massage parlor after she says she was attacked by a massage therapist.

The alleged victim says the franchise owners should not have hired the alleged attacker, 24-year-old Habtamu Gebreselassie.

The lawsuit says Gebreselassie removed the sheet that was covering the woman, engaged in oral sexual activity towards the end of her massage on Sept. 17. This happened at Massage Envy's location in Tenleytown.

The woman told Gebreselassie to leave.

She was later taken to the hospital and prescribed medications to treat any potential sexually transmitted infections.

Police say she's the first woman who called police about the suspect, but prosecutors say she wasn't the first victim, and the owner's of Massage Envy knew that.

"It's hard to believe a company would take a therapist from its Bowie store after he's assaulted somebody there, move him to the Tenleytown store. He assaults somebody there, and he assaults my client. You would think such an individual would be fired," said attorney Kim Brooks-Rodney.

"It is imperative that the company, in all approximately 1,200 locations, implement proper screening, training, and supervision of its employees and contractors," said Wayne Cohen, one of the victim's lawyers.

Prosecutors in Washington, D.C. have charged the suspect in two of the cases.

Massage Envy is not commenting on the allegations.

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