Billings community responds to Massage Envy sexual allegations

With more than 1,100 franchises, Massage Envy is one of the largest massage chains in America.

The three locations in Montana are found here in Billings, in Bozeman, and in Missoula.

I checked federal records in our state and made calls to district courts in each city... As of now.. There are no open civil complaints against Massage Envy in these communities.

But even though there are no complaints filed, we wanted to know how people in general feel about the sexual misconduct reported in other states.

One woman we met emphasized the importance of speaking up and holding those responsible for sexual misconduct accountable. 

"There's a lot of prevalence of bullying and I think this can be a part of that. People bully people and say oh no don't talk about it, don't talk about it," she says.  "But on the other hand, you know you need to  talk about it because it's something that's real and we can't put our head in the sand and live our lives in our denial."

That message has been carried out by more than 180 people. While we have not independently verified each claim of sexual misconduct, many of those coming forward claim they were mishandled or ignored by employees, owners of individual Massage Envy spas and by the national company.

According to a report from WJLA IN Washington D.C.... Tara Woodley filed a $25 million lawsuit against Massage Envy after she learned that company knew her attacker had been accused of other assaults.

"And this company seems to have a pattern and practice of not firing sexual predators," said Kim Brooks-Rodney, attorney for Tara Woodley.

Now we did speak with Billings and Missoula franchise owner Stephanie Sample off camera today. She was clear that all customers who receive a massage must fill out a consent form before undergoing a session.

As for the corporate headquarters for Massage Envy, they issued a statement saying, "each of these incidents is heartbreaking for us and for the franchisees that operate massage envy locations, and we will never stop looking for ways to help our franchisees provide a safe environment."


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