On August 8, 2022, a St. Petersburg massage therapist, Leonard Manuel Lopez De La Torre, was arrested after reports were made that he sexually assaulted a female client during a massage. The St. Petersburg Police Department charged Lopez De La Torre with simple battery and booked him into the Pinellas County Jail. He then was released after posting $500 bail. Leonard Manuel Lopez De La Torre, 51, has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since August 2018.
According to media reports, Lopez De La Torre was working at the St. Petersburg Massage Envy on 4th Street on August 2, 2022, when he performed a 60-minute massage on a female client. During the massage, Lopez De La Torre allegedly reached under the client’s sheet, grabbed the client’s right breast, and pulled her nipple, causing minor redness to the area,” an arrest report states. The arrest affidavit said that an employee at Massage Envy confirmed the victim was the suspect’s client on the day of the offense.
Massage Envy’s corporate office stated, “Massage Envy is committed to promoting a safe environment for members, guests and service providers at each of the over 1,100 independently owned and operated franchised locations nationwide. We urge anyone who experiences anything other than a safe, quality massage to report it immediately to the franchised location so that it can be investigated. We cannot comment on pending allegations or litigation involving any independently owned and operated franchised location.”
When clients schedule 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. Clients of massage therapists are placed in isolated, vulnerable settings where they can be subject to abuse by their massage therapists. Due to the potential for abuse that is inherent under those circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault lawsuits against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at Massage Envy franchises 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 for massage clients at [email protected] for a free consultation.