A candidate for the Oregon state legislature is suing a massage parlour and its owner after allegedly having his genitals groped during a massage. Democrat Anthony Medina, the current chair of the Woodburn School Board, is suing Woodburn Spa and its owner, Fuxiu Zhen, for $450,000 in damages.
“Plaintiff immediately told the masseuse that he did not want to be touched in that manner,” the complaint states, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). “The masseuse then briefly massaged Plaintiff’s feet for 10 seconds before terminating the massage at roughly 20 minutes, at which point Medina [promptly] left.”
According to the Oregon Capital Chronicle, Medina’s claims include battery for unwanted touching, as well as allegations of “human trafficking, indentured servitude, prostitution, and other criminal activities,” in addition to negligently hiring unlicensed massage therapists and failing to properly train employees regarding illegal touching. According to the complaint, neither Zhen nor a second masseuse have massage therapist licences in the state of Oregon, though Zhen is reportedly licenced in California.
Zhen is also listed as the owner of Portland’s Iris Massage and Eugene, Oregon’s Angels Touch Massage, and both are named as defendants in Medina’s lawsuit. Medina reportedly told Woodburn police that he went to the Woodburn Spa in February because he couldn’t get an appointment with his chiropractor. He claimed that the massage table resembled a bed and that he was given a towel instead of a sheet to cover himself.
Following the incident, he went home and informed his wife, who then called the police. He later told the Capital Chronicle that the experience brought up past trauma from his childhood.
“I was the victim of sexual assault when I was 10 years old, and, during this experience with the masseuse, I froze and became that 10-year-old all over again,” he told the outlet. “Unfortunately, I had to relive this trauma all over again.” He added that incidents like this “can be difficult things to talk about, but we all have a responsibility to act, whether you are a victim or are aware of any possibility that human trafficking and exploitation might be happening in our community.”
According to court records, Medina filed the complaint in Marion County Circuit Court on Thursday, but no papers were served on the defendants. The lawsuit was filed about a month after Medina reported the incident to local police. According to the Capital Chronicle, Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson decided not to press charges against the spa or masseuse.