What to Know
- Juan Pablo Mendiz, 32, was arrested in the alleged incident that happened last month at the Massage Envy on Cordova Road
- At one point during the session the woman said he touched her inappropriately in her private area, an arrest report said
A massage therapist at a Massage Envy in Fort Lauderdale was arrested on a sexual assault charge after a woman claimed he touched her inappropriately.
Juan Pablo Mendiz, 32, was arrested in the alleged incident that happened last month at the location on Cordova Road.
According to the arrest report, the woman had an appointment with Mendiz, who is a licensed massage therapist. At one point during the session the woman said he touched her inappropriately in her private area, the report said.
The woman reported the incident to staff at Massage Envy before reporting it to police. The report said Mendiz denied the allegations to officers, and his attorney also said he plans to fight the charges.
"He met with law enforcement, he cooperated and denied the allegations. We will be entering a not guilty plea in court and zealously fighting this case in court," attorney Mark Eiglarsh said.
In bond court Thursday, Eiglarsh said Mendiz previously served in the Army, including a tour of duty in Iraq. According to the report, Mendiz was suspended by his employer after his arrest.
"He is unemployed now because the Massage Envy saw fit to let him go in spite of the presumption of innocence so he’s fallen on some tough times right now," Eiglarsh said. "His wife is fully behind him and supports him and loves him unconditionally. He has a newborn, he has an 11-year-old son and he’s never had any complaints in his many years of being a licensed massage therapist."
"The reported conduct of the therapist is upsetting and unacceptable. Following an immediate investigation after the initial report, the therapist was terminated," Massage Envy said in a statement. "The franchisee takes this allegation seriously, and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in its investigation of the incident."
Dozens of people have accused massage therapists of sexual misconduct at Massage Envy locations in South Florida and throughout the United States in recent months.
Mendiz was given a bond of $12,500 and ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.