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When you place your trust in a massage therapist, you expect to be treated with respect. Unfortunately, unethical therapists and massage establishments all too often violate this trust in heinous ways. A sexual assault can leave you feeling violated, vulnerable, and unsure of what to do next. Thankfully, you may have the right to pursue legal claims to hold the therapist and the establishment accountable. Here’s how to initiate the process.

Contact Law Enforcement

Report the assault to law enforcement right away. Letting the police know that a massage therapist has sexually assaulted you can help protect others, and also create an official record of your allegations. 

When investigators find sufficient evidence of a crime, prosecutors may choose to file charges against the responsible parties. A criminal prosecution and conviction can serve as critical evidence if you choose to file a civil claim against the therapist or the massage establishment. Even if prosecutors choose not to press charges or fail to obtain a conviction, evidence recovered in a law enforcement investigation can be useful in a civil claim. 

Seek Medical Treatment

Seek medical attention as soon as possible after your assault. Medical providers can diagnose and treat any physical injuries you sustained in the assault, as well as gather valuable forensic evidence for a subsequent criminal prosecution or your civil claim. Your healthcare providers can also start you on treatments to prevent sexually transmitted infections, if necessary. 

Be sure to follow your physician’s treatment plan and recovery instructions. Deferring medical attention or treatment can interfere with your recovery and may undermine your subsequent injury claim. Your physician may also refer you to mental health providers who can provide psychological treatment and therapy to help you address any emotional or mental trauma you may have experienced due to the assault. 

Gather Records of Your Injuries and Losses

As you recover, keep copies of critical documents, such as:

  • Your police complaint or report, if available
  • Records of your medical or mental health treatment
  • Bills or invoices for medical care or therapy
  • Pay stubs or income statements if you need to take time off work to recover

If you didn’t file a police report but did disclose the assault to any third parties, do your best to gather documentation of those disclosures. This can help if the massage therapist or the establishment uses any delayed reporting as evidence to undermine the validity of your claim. 

Avoid Social Media

Refrain from discussing the assault or your injuries on social media, since doing so may inadvertently harm your credibility in your sexual assault claim. You may accidentally post statements on social media that conflict with official statements you’ve given to law enforcement or made in your civil action. Additionally, insurance companies and defense lawyers may use statements or photos you post on social media that seem inconsistent with your claims to undermine your credibility further. 

Talk to a Sexual Assault Attorney

Contact a sexual assault attorney as soon as possible to get help understanding your legal rights. You’ll benefit from their guidance throughout the legal process as you pursue justice and compensation for the assault. Under Florida law, you may have up to four years to file a lawsuit against a massage therapist who sexually assaults you. However, waiting too long to contact an attorney may jeopardize your right to seek financial accountability for your physical and emotional injuries if the limitations period expires on your claim. 

Contact Lehrman Law Today to Discuss Your Rights and Options

If you’ve experienced a sexual assault perpetrated by a massage therapist, you deserve to seek justice and financial recovery for your injuries and losses. Contact Lehrman Law today for a confidential consultation with an experienced, compassionate Florida sexual assault attorney to discuss how we can help you hold your abuser accountable and assist you through the process of your physical and emotional recovery.