MONMOUTH COUNTY – A Monmouth County massage therapist’s license was permanently revoked after a series of inappropriate sexual encounters with female clients during massage sessions, according to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs.
The State Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy officially revoked Steven A. Segovia’s license following a complaint filed last month. Segovia, a massage therapist at Massage Envy, allegedly engaged in multiple acts of sexual misconduct during sessions with two female clients back in 2013, according to the Attorney General.
The State referred to Segovia’s actions as “acts of gross negligence and professional misconduct.”
Segovia allegedly performed oral sex on a female client during a session at the Massage Envy in Manalapan. He also had intercourse with another female during a session at the Freehold location.
“New Jersey has strict standards for licensed massage therapists and the vast majority of them are professionals who meet and exceed those standards,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This case makes it clear that rogue practitioners who bring shame to the industry will be rooted out and permanently banned from practice.”
The State Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy outlines that licensed massage therapists are not to engage in any form, even consensual, of sexual contact with clients, the Attorney General’s office stated.
“Clients who engage the services of licensed massage therapists trust they will be treated with dignity, respect, and unfailing professionalism,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Steven Segovia, through his alleged actions, undermined that trust by using patients for his own personal satisfaction. By permanently barring him from practice in New Jersey, the Board has upheld its duty to safeguard the public from this kind of insidious and predatory behavior.”
Segovia admitted to performing oral sex with one female client, stating that it was consensual. However, he denied having intercourse with the other female client.
Segovia agreed to the revocation of his license and is now barred from practicing massage and bodywork therapy in NJ. He must also reimburse the state $5,000 for investigation and prosecution costs.
Patients who have experienced inappropriate behavior by a licensed health care professional can file a complaint on the State Division of Consumer Affairs website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 or 973-504- 6200.