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North Carolina Massage Parlor Assault Leads to $1.5 Million Settlement

Feb 16, 2022

Woman Receives $1.5 Million in Wake County Sexual Assault Settlement

A Wake County woman was sexually assaulted in North Carolina in a massage parlor and has settled her lawsuit for $1.5 million.

According to her lawyers, Winston Kirby and Andrew Avram of Edwards Kirby in Raleigh, NC, the victim suffered severe emotional distress and minor injuries after a male massage therapist employed by the large-chain establishment touched her breasts and genitals.

The defendants denied the incident and disputed the victim’s version of events. Instead, they focused on pre-existing emotional trauma to defend against claims that she suffered emotional distress at the hands of her assailant and argued that she didn’t act like a victim before or after the massage parlor became aware of her allegations.

“Our position was that the client reported her assault within a short time after the occurrence, reported the details of the assault to the managerial staff at the massage establishment, to the police, and to her friends,” Kirby said. “It was difficult for us to reconcile how the client could have acted to make her assault more credible.”

Avram noted that after numerous assault allegations at the same Wake County massage parlor, the business still failed to take the appropriate actions to ensure that the location was safe for its guests. Two years after the incident, the massage therapist was charged with sexual assault. The defendants agreed to the $1.5 million settlement a few months after mediation.

Many details of the case have been withheld due to a confidentiality agreement.

What Is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is the act of nonconsensual sexual contact or touching another person’s intimate body parts by force. Sexual assault occurs when sexual actions are committed against the victim without their consent. Actions that can be constituted as sexual assault include:

  • Forcing a kiss upon the victim
  • Forcing the victim to touch the offender in an intimate fashion
  • Touching the victim’s genitals or intimate areas (clothed or unclothed)

How Does Edwards Kirby Help Sexual Assault Victims Get Justice?

Victims of sexual abuse can seek compensation and justice through a civil lawsuit against their assailants and other responsible parties. North Carolina’s statute of limitations allows victims 3 years after the time of the assault to pursue a civil claim against their abusers. This is extended for victims of childhood sexual abuse under the SAFE Child Act. Edwards Kirby’s Raleigh sexual assault lawyers have years of experience representing victims of assault and abuse and have successfully held their attackers and other responsible parties accountable beyond the criminal justice system. Edwards Kirby’s sexual abuse attorneys are passionate about victims’ rights and will fight to ensure they receive the justice they deserve.

For more information about how Edwards Kirby helps victims successfully receive justice for sexual assault and other crimes, check out our blog.

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