Massage Therapist Charged With Sexually Assaulting Customer

A massage therapist allegedly sexually assaulted a customer during a massage, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The victim told D.C. police she was assaulted about 3:45 p.m. Sunday inside Massage Envy on Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown.

She ran out of the business and called police, prosecutors said.

Habtamu Gebreselassie, 24, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a patient, according to the police report.

Gebreselassie told police he did nothing wrong, but a judge ordered him held without bail until his next hearing.

Massage Envy is a national chain. The Tenleytown location just recently opened.

"Massage Envy requires franchisees to complete extensive background screenings and reference checks and strictly enforce our Code of Conduct and Zero Tolerance Policy to ensure guests have a safe and professional experience when they visit a franchised location," the company said in a statement emailed to News4. "The therapist at issue is no longer employed by the franchisee.”


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Massage Envy said a background check was performed for Gebreselassie. According to his Facebook page, he also worked at a Bowie, Maryland, location of Massage Envy.

“We can confirm that a background check was performed by the franchise owner before employment," the company said in a statement emailed to News4. "The therapist briefly trained at another location owned by the same franchise owner before joining the Tenleytown location once it opened.”

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