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Spa-goers claim sexual assault by former Omni La Costa massage therapist

Posted: 3:28 PM, Feb 28, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-02 18:48:22-05
Luxury Carlsbad resort faces sexual battery suit
Luxury Carlsbad resort faces sexual battery suit
Luxury Carlsbad resort faces sexual battery suit

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - Two women say the same massage therapist sexually assaulted them at the upscale Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad.

They've now filed a lawsuit against the massage therapist and the resort for sexual battery and negligence, among other complaints.

"I'm emotional. I'm volatile. I have never been like that," says the woman. She asked that we not release her name because of the nature of the alleged crime.

She says she's now struggling after a harrowing experience at the high-end resort.

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"I was all bruised up from him not using any oil and from grading on my back. He was hurting me," she tells ABC 10News as she showed us photos of her back, covered with bruises.

She says the male massage therapist injured her and also sexually assaulted her while she was at the hotel last summer.

"[It was] just horrifying," she adds.

"The facts were eerily similar," says attorney Anna Yum. Yum is representing both the woman with bruises and another woman who also describes having a terrifying encounter with the same massage therapist.

While the therapist is named in court records and a police report, ABC 10News is not revealing his name because he has not been charged with a crime.

At an Oceanside home, a man with the same name declined our request for an interview.

It's the second local luxury resort to recently come under fire.

ABC 10News recently broke the story about a different massage therapist facing charges of sexually assaulting a spa guest at L'Auberge Del Mar.

In this new suit against Omni La Costa, the woman who was bruised says it was last summer when the massage therapist had her naked on a table, covered only by a blanket, with her legs spread, according to the lawsuit.

"[I was in] kind of like a frog-like position," she adds. "That was when I started freaking out."

According to the suit, she was "paralyzed with fear" when she says he pushed his erect private area on her sides.

She shared with ABC 10News a copy of some of the emails that she says she later sent to the resort. They read, in part, that she was "on a table naked and mortified," and she knew "exactly what it was," and she was "shocked in silence."

She says that she first emailed the resort the day after the massage and again a week later. However, she says she only got a reply that the resort was still in the process of addressing her concerns.

She says she got a reply from the GM a full month later after she complained to Omni's headquarters. According to the lawsuit, the GM claimed in part that "it was his word against hers" so it'd be difficult to discipline him.

The woman referred ABC 10News to a Yelp review that she wrote herself.

It was that review that caught the eye of another local woman who ABC 10News is referring to as Jane Doe 2. She asked that this news station not reveal her identity because of the sensitive nature of the alleged crime.

Yum is speaking on her behalf. Yum says the massage therapist preyed on her at the resort in November.

Yum says Jane Doe 2's assault started with him drawing hearts on her back and spreading her legs. "He started massaging her legs and said, 'This is to open your flight-or-fight reaction.' That caused her to have her red flags and hair on her arm just stand up," says Yum.

Yum tells 10News that the situation then went from bad to worse.

"When she tried to leave, he grabbed her arm. She grabbed the sheet. [Only] the sheet was covering her, and [she] ran out of that room half-naked," Yum adds.

A police report details his arrest for battery.

A spokesperson for the Carlsbad Police Department writes, "We are working closely with the District Attorney's Office, and the investigation is still underway."

The California Massage Therapy Council says his certification is still active.

Yum is encouraging any other potential victims to come forward. "Your voice can be heard," she adds.

ABC 10News reached out to Omni La Costa for comment.

"Due to pending litigation, we’re unable to comment; however, as always, the safety and security of our guests is our top priority," Omni La Costa said in a statement to ABC 10News.