A man filed a lawsuit against a New York City spa claiming that his massage therapist made him uncomfortable by touching him inappropriately during a session.
Identified as Ronnie Arnau from Woodland Park, New Jersey, the unsatisfied customer said he sought a regular massage and facial at the Living Fresh Men’s Spa on September 8, reports the New York Post.
According to the lawsuit filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court, the 34-year-old claimed that he noticed shortly after the massage started that his masseur named Pei Tian began focusing “exclusively on Arnau’s buttocks for an inordinate amount of time, making Arnau very uncomfortable.”
The suit, which seeks an unspecified amount in damages, further noted, “As Arnau became more and more uncomfortable with Tian’s focus on his buttocks, Tian moved his fingers below Arnau’s buttocks and began caressing” his privates.
“At no point had Arnau indicated, orally or otherwise, that he consented to Tian touching his penis. Nor did he ever indicate any desire for him to do so.”
Arnau indicated he was so shocked by Tian’s actions that “he completely froze” until Tian “threw off his towel and told him to turn over.”
“At that point, having shaken off his initial state of shock, Arnau abruptly rose from the massage table and demanded that Tian leave the room.”
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The court document revealed that Tian was arrested immediately after Arnau called the authorities.
The masseur, whose criminal case remains pending, was charged with “forcible touching and sexual abuse.”
A receptionist at Living Fresh Men’s Spa, identified by his first name, Sean, confirmed to The Post that the masseur still works for the company.
The worker said he hadn’t heard of Tian’s allegations and noted that the accused has been an employee at the spa for a decade.
“Living Fresh Spa ignored Mr. Arnau when he reported the assault. The spa– through their silence and inaction– condones the idea that gay men at gay spas are consenting to unwanted touching from staff,” said lawyer Carrie Goldberg, who represents Arnau in the case.
“While people may laugh about the sexualization of spas – happy endings or locker room orgies — the vast majority of people go to spas for healing and relaxation – not sex,” Goldberg was quoted as saying.