NewsLocal News


Thornton mom says her daughter was sexually assaulted at Massage Envy

Posted at 10:42 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 00:42:47-05

THORNTON, Colo. -- Lisa Dreher is no longer staying silent about what she says happened, and claims staff ignored, at a Massage Envy in Thornton.

"The look on my daughter's face was fear. It was scared, it was something that no parent should ever see," Dreher said.

She said her daughter's therapist, named Robert, turned into a sexual predator during her first ever massage at the chain on her 20th birthday in August 2013.

Dreher is speaking out after a BuzzFeed News Investigation found more than 100 women across the country have accused its massage therapists of sexual assault.

"You could just see it on her face. She was blank, she was quiet, she was numb," Dreher said.

She said they immediately told spa staff at the location off 120th Ave. in Thornton, but felt ignored.

"Our concerns were completely disregarded, they didn't care," Dreher said. "No man has the right to ever to that."

They were frustrated with what they saw as a lack of accountability, and the spa only offering a refund. Dreher's daughter took it a step further by writing a very detailed recounting of what happened to Massage Envy corporate.

"He takes my hand and places it on my chest and rubs it down my sternum," Dreher read from the letter.

It goes on to describe how the therapist named Robert talked about her body and job as a hairdresser.

"I could care less what my hairdresser is wearing as long as her boobs are in my face," she read.

Despite the detailed account, Dreher claims they got the same response from corporate and nothing ever happened to the therapist.

"The fact that we called a year later and the same gentleman was still working there, that's scary," she said. "We thought at least something would be done with us reporting it, and now, I wish we would have called the cops."

In response to the national scandal, Massage Envy announced sweeping changes to how it handles sexual assaults Tuesday.

Massage Envy corporate has not responded to Denver7's request for comment and a manager at the Thornton location was unable to answer our questions. 

Denver7 has also uncovered at least three cases of alleged sexual assault at Colorado Massage Envy locations.

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. Under Colorado law, massage facilities have no legal obligation to report sexual assault claims made on their premises.