A Geneva woman has filed suit in Cook County circuit court against Massage Envy in Geneva alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a therapist with a known record of criminal activity.
Christine Schirtzinger, 51, alleged that James Garrett, a licensed therapist at Massage Envy, assaulted her three times during a session on December 12, 2020. The nature of the alleged assaults involved improper touching during the massage.
Garrett was charged with multiple felonies related to the incident and ended up pleading guilty to a reduced misdemeanor sexual offense charge. Garrett was placed on 24 months sex offender probation, ordered to undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation and prohibited from massage therapy work. He was also required to register as a sex offender in Illinois.
Despite his admission of guilt taking place in March 2022, Garrett’s therapist license was not revoked until this past November.
The suit also alleges that Garrett had been involved in a sexual offense case involving a minor in 2006 and had pleaded guilty to felony theft charges in an unrelated incident.
In her suit, Schirtzinger insists that Massage Envy should have known about Garrett’s criminal background before hiring him as a therapist. Schirtzinger also accuses Massage envy of lack of supervision and inadequate policies that made Garrett’s alleged assault possible.
Schirtzinger in seeking unspecified damages in excess of $50,000.
Massage Envy is a nationwide franchise of massage therapy centers boasting 35,000 massage therapists, estheticians, and other associates employed and over 1.5 million Massage Envy franchise members across the United States.