Mount Pleasant Massage Envy worker accused of sexually assaulting customer during massage
Reports of rampant sexual abuse by employees of a major national massage therapy franchise have now spread to South Carolina's Lowcountry.
A man has been arrested after a customer at a Massage Envy in Mount Pleasant claims they were sexually assaulted by him during a session last week.
Nicholas Benjamin Coyle, 27, remains in jail at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center following his arrest Tuesday on a criminal sexual conduct charge.
According to Mount Pleasant Police, the victim of the assault reports the incident took place Friday, Dec. 15, at the Massage Envy on Long Grove Drive.
Police say the victim told officers they were getting a 90-minute massage by a man named “Nick," when suddenly the victim says the man began touching their body inappropriately.
At first, the victim says the man was placing his hand too high up their thigh, but brushed it off as an accident.
Later, the victim told police they were lying on their back when the man placed his hand higher up the victim’s inner thigh.
The victim told police they continued trying to ignore it, until the man finally stretched the victim’s legs apart, placed his head near the victim’s genital region, then assaulted the victim with his tongue.
The victim reports being in shock and feeling glued to the table, police say. When the victim looked up, the suspect reportedly said “Your session is done,” according to police.
The customer left the room, and tried to act as if everything was normal, even paying for the session, police say. The victim told police it wasn't until later that they had worked up the courage to report what happened.
Message Envy has issued a statement regarding the incident, below is the message of Message Envy LLC:
We are saddened and deeply disturbed by this report. This therapist is no longer employed by the franchisee, and the franchisee will cooperate with law enforcement in its investigation of the incident. Safety in the treatment room has been – and always will be – paramount, and we believe our recently announced Commitment to Safety defines a clear path forward that will create meaningful change to ensure the safety and well-being of members and guests.
A November investigative report by BuzzFeed News found that more than 180 people have filed sexual misconduct complaints against Massage Envy and its employees, nationwide.
A judge has set Coyle's bond at $25,000.
Assistance such as crisis management and emotional support is available to sexual assault victims in the Charleston-area through People Against Rape,
- A 24-hour Crisis Line: 843-745-0144
- Hospital Crisis Accompaniment for Sexual Assault Forensic Exams at MUSC
- Legal and Law Enforcement Advocacy
- Support Groups for Adult Survivors of Sexual Assault, Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, and for their loved ones.
- Resource and Referral Services
- Community Education, Outreach, and Primary Prevention Education.
PAR is the only Rape Crisis Center in the Tri-County area, and provides services for adult survivors of sexual violence confidentially and free of charge. If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, call 843-745-0144 to speak with a trained crisis advocate.
(CORRECTION: A previous version of this article identified the victim as female. An incident report provided by Mount Pleasant Police had all gender information redacted. The sex of the victim is unknown.)