Falsely Accused Massage Therapist Found Innocent
Over 180 women who had visited Massage Envy spas across the country filed sexual assault complaints with Massage Envy that the mega-brand has failed to resolve since November of 2017. While many of the victims’ claims have merit, certified massage therapists everywhere run the risk of being falsely accused of sexual misconduct while on the job. A conviction for sexual assault will ruin your career as a massage therapist and can bar you from pursuing many other types of jobs because such a conviction will require you to register as a sex offender.
Every day, massage therapists risk their reputations to provide soothing massages to their clients. One male massage therapist in Frisco, Texas endured a three-day trial over a wrongful accusation of sexually abusing a female client. It took a jury just 45 minutes to deliver a not-guilty verdict.
Marcus Hurst, owner of the spa and a massage therapist with 15 years of experience, claimed that he prides himself on professionalism and had never been accused of wrongdoing in the past. He stated to NBC Dallas-Ft. Worth that he felt “dumbfounded” when he found out about the allegation.
Although prosecutors offered Mr. Hurst a plea deal, he refused to accept it. The jury took less than an hour to deliberate. Mr. Hurst’s attorney stated that the jury did not trust the female accuser. There was no physical evidence that Mr. Hurst acted inappropriately and the accuser failed to tell a believable story. Additionally, there was evidence of events that contradicted her tale.
Had Mr. Hurst been convicted of the charges, he could have received 20 years.
Seriousness of Sexual Assault Claims
Sexual assault is a serious second-degree felony offense in Florida. Generally, the crime involves forcing unwanted sexual behavior on another person. Such behavior may include:
- Uninvited touching, fondling, exhibitionism, exposing genitalia
- Forced non-consensual sexual activity
- Manipulating sexual activity from a position of trust
These cases tend to be difficult to prosecute as they often arise from a “he said, she said” scenario and may not have strong evidence to prove an assault took place; yet juries often favor victims. In light of the Massage Envy scandal, it’s important to secure strong representation.
Simply being accused of sexual assault can damage your reputation and the relationships you enjoy with coworkers, family members, and friends. If you are convicted for sexual assault, you will be required to register as a sex offender and could face between 10 and 15 years in prison.
At the Umansky Law Firm, we aggressively fight sexual assault charges. Our firm employs a robust team of criminal defense attorneys, including a board-certified trial lawyer. We have over 60 years of combined experience providing second chances to those accused of a criminal offense in Central Florida. Call our office for a free consultation or connect with us online. We are available to chat 24/7.