MONMOUTH COUNTY – The state is looking to revoke the license of a Manalapan massage therapist for inappropriate sexual contact with female clients, according to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Officials announced that Steven A. Segovia of Massage Envy in Manalapan reportedly engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with two of his female clients during the fall of 2013. A complaint filed by the state with the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy stated that Segovia allegedly engaged in oral sex with a female client at the Manalapan location, and sexual intercourse with a female client at the Freehold location of Massage Envy.
“Massage therapists cannot, under any circumstances, engage in sexual contact with their clients. It is a clear violation of professional boundaries and an abuse of client trust,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Massage therapists, who breach this fundamental rule, as this one allegedly did, face serious consequences for their actions.”
The first alleged incident occurred when Segovia placed a finger into the woman’s vagina while massaging her gluteal muscles. He reportedly said “I’m sorry. I misread you. I’ll never do it again,” when the client questioned his actions. In a later incident with the same woman, Segovia performed oral sex on her at the end of the session.
According to the State’s Complaint, another female client of the Massage Envy in Freehold had had numerous massages by Segovia throughout 2013. As these sessions progressed, Segovia asked her personal questions and also told her that she could receive a massage from him in his home and pay him privately.
Segovia is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with this woman after the woman’s final massage therapy session in September 2013. While the woman was lying on her stomach, Segovia penetrated her and then allegedly whispered into the woman’s ear “This will be our little secret, okay?” according to the State’s Complaint.
“Instead of treating clients with the dignity and respect they deserve, Steven Segovia allegedly treated them like easy prey to be used for his personal satisfaction,” said Paul Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
The state seeks to revoke Segovia’s license for gross negligence that endangers the public, professional misconduct, and failure to comply with regulations prohibiting licensed massage therapists from engaging in sexual contact with clients
“We have zero tolerance for this kind of depraved behavior. Clients subjected to inappropriate sexual contact from Segovia, or any other licensed massage therapist, are encouraged to immediately report the matter to the Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy,” said Rodriguez.
Individuals who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.