Two women who say they were sexually groped by a local massage therapist are suing the owners of the Eugene business that employed him.

The therapist, Ryan M. Haynes of Springfield, worked at Massage Envy on Valley River Way when the two alleged incidents occurred.

The state Board of Massage Therapists revoked Haynes' license in August after ruling that the two women had provided credible information as part of an investigation.

The two alleged victims now are seeking more than $48,000 each in damages. The lawsuits were filed last week in Lane County Circuit Court against the massage clinic's owner, Derik Ford, and his business, D&E Ventures LLC.

Eugene police arrested Haynes after a 23-year-old woman reported that he had touched her left breast and genitals during a massage in November 2012.

Haynes was lodged in the Lane County Jail on a preliminary charge of third-degree sexual abuse, but he was released the next day after prosecutors decided against filing formal charges.

Haynes, 26, denied the woman's allegation, according to documents produced by the state board that revoked his massage therapist license.

Lane County Chief Deputy District Attorney Patty Perlow said the prosecutor who reviewed the case is unavailable for comment this week, and that she could not speak to the status of the investigation.

After his arrest, Haynes returned to work at Massage Envy, where the second woman said she was subjected to unwanted touching while getting a massage from him in February 2013, according to her lawsuit.

The second woman claims that Haynes had exposed and touched her breasts. She reported the incident to police after she learned of the previous allegation, said Eugene attorney David Moule, who filed the suits on behalf of the two women.

Moule said the second woman "was outraged" when she learned that Haynes had previously been accused of groping a client.

"She couldn't believe (Haynes) was still practicing" after the initial allegation, Moule said.

Haynes was not arrested or charged after the second woman spoke with police. He could not be reached this week for comment.

Moule said the women did not wish to be identified. The Register-Guard generally does not name victims of alleged sexual abuse without their consent.

The lawsuits claim that Ford and his business are responsible for Haynes' alleged actions, and were negligent in failing to protect clients.

Ford is a local franchisee for Massage Envy, which operates hundreds of clinics nationwide.

Massage Envy spokesman Lorne Fisher on Wednesday released a statement that says the company is conducting an internal investigation into the allegations involving Haynes, and will "take action that it deems appropriate" if officials conclude that the firm's "zero-tolerance policy regarding inappropriate conduct has been violated."

Fisher did not respond to questions regarding when and why Haynes' employment with Massage Envy had ended, or the length of time he had worked for the company.

Franchisees of Massage Envy are required to conduct criminal background and reference checks before hiring anyone, and newly hired massage therapists must complete a training program to familiarize themselves with company policies.

Follow Jack on Twitter @JackMoranRG . Email .

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.