On October 13, 2023, the Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order restricting Mark Churaman’s license to work as a massage therapist following disturbing allegations that he sexually assaulted a female client at Massage Luxe. Churaman has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since November 2020. The emergency restriction prohibits Churaman from performing any massage therapy on female clients as a result of this Order.
According to the Emergency Order, On May 31, 2023, Churaman performed a 60-minute massage on a 34-year-old patient at Massage Luxe in Palm Beach Gardens, at 5310 Donald Ross Rd. During the massage, Churaman began rubbing the client’s thighs and gluteal muscles. He then placed his entire hand on the client’s right buttocks and pushed his palm into her buttocks. He then asked the client to flip over face up. He began rubbing the client’s leg and slid up to her labia under the sheet she was covered with. He then rubbed the inside of her labia.
The client got nervous and believed Churaman was about to digitally penetrate her, and she interjected with a sarcastic comment stating that he should probably take her for a drink first if you’re going to do something like that. Churaman stopped touching her and asked her for a drink. The client said no, and Churman apologized by saying he just couldn’t control himself. She asked him to leave the room immediately. She then reported Churaman to the store manager and filed an incident report with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department. When the detectives arrived at Massage Luxe to question Churaman, he admitted to his wrongdoing.
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 these circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy. Incidents such as this are a reminder that persons who may commit sexual misconduct work in all industries, even professions in which we typically place our blind trust. All allegations of sexual abuse must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement, and employers must be especially vigilant in supervision and protection at all times. Marc Churaman abused his power and lacked good moral judgment to safely massage female clients.
Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in handling claims nationwide on behalf of victims of sexual assault by massage therapists, including at Massage Luxe and other national chains, spas, and hotels. Please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] if you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse.