Locals React to Massage Envy Parlor Sex Assault Allegations

The country’s largest massage franchise is under fire after reports that more than 180 allegations of sexual assault or sexual misconduct have been mishandled or ignored by Massage Envy franchises nationwide.

"It’s very alarming, very alarming, people are very vulnerable when they go in for a massage," said Leslie Lombino of Somerville, Massachusetts.

"When you kind of think of massage, you’re kind of thinking like a relaxing kind of safe space," said Kelly Carver of Kingston.

There are 32 Massage Envy locations in Massachusetts.

NBC Boston could not find any allegations specific to those locations, but residents in the state think all customers should be aware of it.

"You see all these things coming to light after all these allegations from Hollywood and kind of, it’s opened up a door for people to come out and speak which is a good thing, it needs to be addressed," said Chris Lawler of Barnstable.

Massage Envy’s corporate headquarters called the allegations “heartbreaking” and said, "We believe that even ONE incident is too many, so we are constantly listening, learning, and evaluating how we can continue to strengthen our policies with respect to handling of these issues."

"You would want some oversight right from the corporation, that’s kind of their responsibility to make sure that these things aren’t going on," said Jack Gourdeau of Beverly.

"Franchisees are required to report inappropriate conduct to the state licensing boards that require it," the company said.

Massachusetts does require massage therapy facilities with any knowledge of unethical or illegal acts to report it to the state Board of Registration of Massage Therapists.

But not all states do.

"Anyone who has any knowledge of sexual assault should report it," said Stephen Keefe of Lexington.

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