Two women sexually assaulted by a masseur while at a high-profile spa are one step closer to receiving justice after a recent guilty plea. According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 41-year-old Kamren Holbert was accused of touching the genitals of two clients to whom he was giving massages while working for the Four Seasons Spa and Salon in St. Louis. As sexual assault attorneys in O’Fallon, IL – just across the river – we know this kind of predatory behavior is all too common.
He pleaded guilty in February of 2019 and was sentenced to 120 days in jail followed by probation—a small victory for the survivors of his assault. Criminal charges, however, are not the only option for holding those responsible accountable. Victims also have the option of filing a civil suit.
Holbert is facing civil lawsuits from four women alleging more unwanted sexual contact while he was a masseur. The accusations include genital touching, breast massage and sodomy. The lawsuits also allege that the hotel and spa failed to make sure women would be safe there and did not adequately train staff.
Holding abusers responsible
Enduring a traumatic experience such as sexual assault can lead to a mix of emotions, including anger, fear and confusion. These types of civil lawsuits are a way for survivors to seek financial compensation for not only the physical harm they suffered, but also the emotional distress caused by the assault.
Victims can file a personal injury suit against not only the perpetrator, but also potentially other parties that allowed the assault to happen. That could be an employer, for example, or maybe a religious or educational institution.
You are not alone
While we don’t know how widespread of a problem sexual assault at spas and massage parlors may be, it is clear that many women and men have endured such behavior. There are often headlines about clients being molested, groped, assaulted or violated during massage therapy or treatment.
One high-profile case includes more than 180 women across the country who said they were sexually assaulted at a nationwide massage chain. Many of these survivors have filed civil lawsuits.
Reliving a difficult experience is never easy. If you feel ready to talk about what you’ve been through in complete confidence, a personal injury lawsuit is an option. Financial compensation may not only help you during the healing process, it can also hold both the abuser and any enablers accountable.