Woman Files Suit, Says She Was Sexually Assaulted at South Beach Spa

The spa said that the massage therapist denies all the allegations

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    The 34-year-old woman says she was sexually assaulted when she went in for a massage at the Sanctuary spa on South Beach. She spoke about the incident over the phone in a press conference Thursday.

    A woman who claims that she was sexually assaulted when she went in for a massage at the Sanctuary spa on South Beach filed a lawsuit Thursday.

    The 34-year-old woman, who didn't want to be identified, says that masseuse Juan Fraga touched her breast and genital region.

    “I trusted that the Sanctuary Hotel created a place that was safe for women, that it was truly a sanctuary,” she said over the phone in a press conference held with her attorney, Jeff Herman. “They should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen to me. They breached my trust and put me in the most horrifying of situations.”

    The massage therapist was not arrested, Herman said.

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    The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, claims that the manager of the Courtyard by Marriott at 2051 S. LeJeune Road in Coral Gables molested and raped a housekeeper and told her she'd lose her job if she didn't comply. Her attorney Jeff Herman and the victim, who spoke through a translator, discussed the case.

    "We are super-surprised. Juan Fraga is a licensed massage therapist and we had no complaints about him. He denies all the allegations,” Sanctuary spa manager Julia Betancourt said in a statement. “If something would have happened I would think she would get out of the room and scream. She smiled and gave a $20 tip and left without indicating any trouble. He husband came back later and we told them to contact the police.”

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    Fraga did not respond to requests for a direct comment.

    The couple did go to file a report with Miami Beach Police, Herman said. The spa had a duty to make sure the customer was not approached in any way that was not appropriate, he said.

    The spa and hotel have until the end of December to respond to the allegations in Miami-Dade County civil court.

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