FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RESTRICTS LICENSE OF HAND AND STONE MASSAGE THERAPIST ANTONIO RESTREPO
On Thursday, October 29, 2020, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency restriction of the license of Hand & Stone massage therapist, Antonio Restrepo, prohibiting his practice of massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida. The Emergency Order was entered in response to a sexual misconduct complaint by a client. The sexual assault is alleged to have occurred at the Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa located in Miami. Antonio Restrepo, age 50, has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since April 2018.
On September 17, 2020, Restrepo performed a full body massage on a female client. In the last five minutes of the massage, while she was lying face up, he allegedly rubbed the woman’s breast for one to two minutes and then began to touch her nipples. She immediately told him to stop the massage and leave the room. According to the Order, he then apologized, said he thought she was a beautiful woman, and left the room.
The woman states that she did not consent to Restrepo touching her breasts and nipples. She reported the incident to Hand and Stone later that day. When confronted, Restrepo said, “I did something wrong.”
According to the Department of Health, Restrepo flagrantly disregarded the laws and regulations governing massage therapists by willfully violating the massage therapist-patient relationship. The Order ensures he can no longer pose an immediate, serious danger to the public’s health, welfare and safety, pending a final hearing by the Department.
When clients book a massage, it is to decompress from the stresses of life. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault lawsuits against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were sexually assaulted during massages at Hand and Stone and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.