Civil lawsuit alleging 'sexual assault' filed against local spa, massage therapist

Photo: Bexar County Sheriff's Office

A lawsuit has been filed against a local spa and a San Antonio area massage therapist in connection with an alleged sexual assault in 2016.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Bexar County by Dallas attorney Tahira Khan Merritt on Wednesday, is seeking to "recover civil damages." Merritt says her client, a woman identified as "Jane Doe 112," alleges she was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist at the Massage Heights Spa located at 23535 Interstate 10 Frontage Road in Leon Springs.

The lawsuit identifies the massage therapist as Arturo "Art" Chamberlain. The woman's attorney says Chamberlain was charged with harassing a teenage girl back in October 2012 when he was her cheer coach and was disciplined by the Texas Massage Disciplinary Board for inappropriate sexual contact with a female client during a massage in August of 2014.

The attorney stated in a news release that the woman involved in the 2014 incident reported it to law enforcement and the spa facility owner. The news release also states Chamberlain has been accused of assaulting another female client on July 13, 2016, the day after Jane Doe 112's alleged attack.

According to the news release, Chamberlain was charged criminally in Jane Doe's case and in at least one other woman's case. The attorney says the lawsuit is the the second civil lawsuit brought against the Massage Heights Spa and Chamberlain in Bexar County.

A Massage Heights spokesperson later released this statement:

Massage Heights Franchising recently learned through news reports that a former licensed massage therapist of its franchised location in Leon Springs has been named in a civil lawsuit regarding an alleged sexual assault in 2016. The licensed massage therapist was terminated by the local franchisee in July 2016 immediately after the reported incident. At this time, neither the franchisee nor Massage Heights Franchising has been served with the civil lawsuit reported in the local media. Massage Heights Franchising takes these allegations very seriously, and once it is able to review the lawsuit, it will provide additional comment.

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