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Colorado regulators respond to alleged sex assaults at Massage Envy

68 therapists disciplined in CO over 5 years
Posted at 7:15 PM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-28 21:20:12-05

DENVER-- State regulators are sharing an important message after Denver7 uncovered at least three cases of alleged sexual assault at Colorado Massage Envy locations.

It comes after a BuzzFeed News Investigation found more than one hundred women across the country have accused its massage therapists of sexual assault.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates individual massage therapists who are licensed through the state.

Over the last five years, DORA said approximately 68 massage therapists have been disciplined for sexual misconduct violations, including those accused of prostitution.

To get a massage therapist license in Colorado, applicants must pass a background check and the state regulatory agency is alerted of any arrests.

However, Denver7 has learned if a customer reports an alleged sexual assault to the spa itself, massage facilities have no legal obligation to report sexual assault claims made on their premises.

"I would argue there's an ethical obligation for them to do that, but they're not required under law to do that," Ronne Hines, Director of the state's Division of Profession and Occupation said.

 Which is why Hines wants to encourage anyone who feels they've been violated to act.

"File a complaint with us, contact law enforcement, make sure you're proactive and prevent it from happening to anyone else," Hines said.

Hines also said it's important that customers do their homework before getting a massage at any location.

She recommends asking for the therapist's full name, and to check online to ensure they have an active license with the state. You can verify a Colorado therapist's license here.

"We are able to take such quick action because it's a director model program, which means I'm the one who can take action and I really take these cases seriously," Hines said.