SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A Massage Envy employee in Scottsdale has been arrested for allegedly touching a woman inappropriately.
Caleb Cherry, 36, faces one felony charge of sexual abuse.
The charge stems from an incident on Feb. 15, when a woman came to the Massage Envy, which is location near Thomas and Scottsdale roads, to receive a massage.
The victim says she has been a member of Massage Envy for about ten years and has had about 120 massages.
She told police that the massage on Feb. 15 began as usual and that she was covered by a sheet while Cherry massaged her as she was face-down.
But after she turned over onto her back, at one point, the victim told police that Cherry touched her in a sexual way.
The woman immediately told him to stop, according to the police report, but he "continued to massage her upper thigh."
The woman sat up and told him to leave, and Cherry left the massage room.
After the woman told the front desk staff about the incident, she called Scottsdale police to report what happened.
When questioned by police, Cherry first said it was an "accident."
He later admitted "he did not plan on touching" the victim, and that it was a "spur of the moment decision." He stated "he knew he was going to get in trouble and he would lose his massage license," according to the police report.
Police also say he regretted his action.
Massage Envy released the following statement:
Massage Envy policies require that upon a report of inappropriate conduct, franchisees must immediately remove the service provider from the schedule, conduct a prompt, fair, and thorough investigation, and if it is determined an offense occurred, the therapist must be terminated and marked as ineligible for hire at any Massage Envy franchise location nationwide. The franchisee has since terminated Caleb Cherry from employment.
Our franchisees are required to conduct background screenings for all massage therapists as a condition of hiring and on an annual basis.
Massage Envy is committed to promoting a safe environment for members, guests and service providers at each of our 1,200 franchise locations nationwide. We urge anyone that experiences anything other than a safe, quality massage to report it immediately to the franchise location so that it can be investigated.
We support the decision of any victim to report misconduct and it is the policy of Massage Envy to require its franchisees to supply any guest who claims to be a victim of sexual misconduct with the contact information of local law enforcement and the state board. As a confidential reporting option to any such guest, franchisees also are required to provide information for RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline. The hotline provides an anonymous link to a local sexual assault service provider who is trained to support victims of sexual assault and help them navigate the support, policy, and care that is most effective for them.
Based on the guidance from leading experts, including RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the US, it is our policy to respect the victim’s privacy and the victim’s right to decide whether they would like to report to law enforcement, the state board, or anyone else. We do require franchisees to report to law enforcement when required by law.
We will never stop working to improve our safety policies.