St. Petersburg Massage therapist Leonard Manuel Lopez De La Torre voluntarily surrendered his license to practice massage therapy in Florida after two complaints of assault were made by female clients, which led to Lopez de la Torre’s arrest in 2022. Both Final Orders were accepted and adjudged as a discipline on November 8, 2023, by the Board of Massage Therapy. One final order was in response to a disciplinary action brought by the Florida Department of Health after a report was made alleging sexual misconduct during a massage Lopez de la Torre performed while working at St. Petersburg Massage Envy. The second Final Order was from a report alleging abuse while working at Hand and Stone Massage and Spa in St. Petersburg, FL. Surrendering his license prohibits any further administrative action regarding these cases. Leonard Manuel Lopez De La Torre, age 52, had been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since August 2018.
Massage Envy Sexual Abuse
On October 13, 2022, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) filed an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Leonard Manuel Lopez De La Torre. This restriction was in response to a report of sexual misconduct during a massage he performed while working at Massage Envy. According to the Order, Leonard Manuel Lopez De La Torre was arrested after a woman reported Lopez De La Torre sexually assaulted her 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 was released after posting a $500 bail.
According to the Department of Health’s Emergency Order, Lopez De La Torre worked 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.
Hand and Stone Assault
On December 31, 2021, Lopez De La Torre performed a massage on a female client. Upon entering the room, she told De La Torre that she did not want her thighs, legs, or feet touched. During the massage, De La Torre reportedly massaged the client’s legs and thighs without her consent. He also inserted his finger into her mouth, in which the client then bit to indicate to stop. De La Torre then allegedly asked the client if she lived in the area and for her phone number. Those alleged actions were outside of the scope of massage therapy.
Leonard Manuel Lopez de la Torre Allegedly Violated the Massage Therapist-Patient Relationship
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 sexually. Clients of massage therapists are in an isolated setting, leaving them vulnerable and subject to abuse by their massage therapists.
Due to the potential for inherent abuse, under those circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and moral character to practice massage therapy safely. Mr. Leonard Manuel Lopez de la Torre willfully abused his position as a massage therapist to sexually violate at least two woman who trusted him to act professionally and within the boundaries of generally accepted massage therapy and treatment. Mr. Lopez de la Torre’s violation of the massage therapist-patient relationship indicates that he lacks the good moral character and judgment necessary to practice massage therapy.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault lawsuits against massage therapists for clients who were inappropriately touched at Massage Envy and various massage salons and spas. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz for massage clients at [email protected] for a free consultation.