LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Three lawsuits have been filed against a massage therapist at Mokara Spa inside the Omni Hotel. They all allege unwanted sexual touching.
This is not the first lawsuit filed against the man accused, which is part of the reason why these suits are also against the Omni.
They say the hotel should have known about the prior lawsuit and by hiring the man, they put their clients in danger.
"At no point did any of my three clients consent to touching," Casey Krill, the attorney representing the women, said. The lawsuits say the therapist touched the women's groin area without consent.
The first alleged incident happened on August 18, 2018, another one in March of this year and the third in June. The suits say that all women went to management.
It isn't until the plaintiff, who says she was touched in June, reported it to LMPD, that the Omni fired him. However, there are no criminal charges against the massage therapist.
We also found a lawsuit filed in December of 2016 that alleges the massage therapist touched a woman without consent when he worked at Massage Envy in Jeffersontown. That lawsuit was dismissed last month.
These three suits say the Omni should have known about the 2016 filing, "The Omni knew or should have known had they done any due diligence at all that he had a history of sexual assault and we shouldn't be surprised that he continued his predatory ways. The Omni put him in that position of trust," said Krill.
It also says this goes against Kentucky's code of ethics and standards of practice for massage therapists. The state requires anyone applying for a license to undergo ethics training.
"And then in order to have your license renewed every two years, we have to have 24 hours of continued education--three of them are ethics training,” said Donald Taylor, Director and Owner of the Louisville School of Massage and a licensed massage therapist.
"We've been around for over 30 years as a school and so it's not a foreign concept to have these allegations brought up in the field, but its few and far in between,” Taylor said.
In order to be licensed you have to graduate and pass a licensing exam, pass a background check and obtain a license before you can charge for a massage. Taylor’s school adds extra ethics training for their students.
"Ultimately we are asking our clients to be very vulnerable and so in order to do that, we have to approach the client and approach each session from the highest level of ethics as possible,” Taylor said.
The Omni released a statement saying they are conducting an internal investigation and that massage therapists are given criminal background checks and training.
“We are concerned by the allegations about a former Omni employee, and we are conducting an internal investigation. Every job applicant at Omni who may have direct contact with guests is vetted by criminal background check before hiring, and each hire must complete thorough training. We are committed to the safety and security of all our guests.”
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