The Police NewsHouston
Sexual assault suit brought against Massage Envy
HOUSTON – A lawsuit alleging sexual assault has been brought against Guthrie Enterprises, which operates numerous Massage Envy locations.
Seeking more than $1 million in damages, Christy Babineaux filed the suit June 2 in Harris County District Court.
According to the lawsuit, on Jan. 23 Ricky Newsome—Defendant’s massage therapist—sexually assaulted Babineaux during her massage session at Defendant’s Copperfield location. Towards the end of the massage, Newsome suddenly began aggressively groping and massaging her across her body, including her bare breasts and lower body.
“When Plaintiff got up to leave, Newsome pulled out his penis, grabbed her, and pushed his body and erect penis up against her body,” the suit states. “Plaintiff was in complete shock, began crying, and pleaded with him to put his penis away. Newsome apologized and said he got ‘carried away.’”
Babineaux reported the incident to the defendant. Callie Morris—the general manager for Defendant—later informed her that Defendant did an investigation into the incident and into Newsome. Morris indicated that Defendant terminated Newsome, after an investigation and interview with Newsome.
“What is extremely troubling is that Defendant was aware the danger its customers were in; Morris admitted that this was not the first time this type of incident occurred with Newsome, yet he had been allowed to continue working,” the suit states. “Further, during the investigation, Defendant still employed Newsome and allowed him to continue providing massage services to customers.
“This lawsuit is necessary to hold Defendant accountable, as well as to ensure Defendant and its therapists do not put other customers at risk. This incident was entirely preventable. Plaintiff has suffered injuries, including severe mental trauma.”
Babineaux is alleging gross negligence and is seeking damages for her pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and loss of household services.
Andrew Dao with Daly & Black and Kent Schaffer with Schaffer Carter & Associates represent the Plaintiff.