Local massage therapist pleads not guilty to taking massages too - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Local massage therapist pleads not guilty to taking massages too far

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

A local massage therapist, accused of taking his massages too far, faced a judge Tuesday afternoon.

John Nahle pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and sexual imposition.

Initially only one woman came forward to report being touched inappropriately by Nahle during a massage. But now prosecutors said there are two other victims who are now linked to this case, and are afraid there may be more.

Nahle worked at several salons and massage studios including Ahava Salon, Toledo Yoga and the Massage Envy on Central Avenue. 

Detectives said the businesses were in the dark about what their employee was allegedly doing behind closed doors but have been cooperating fully.

Massage Envy employees across the country are being accused of sexual harassment.

Massage Envy CEO Joseph Magnacca released a statement addressing the allegations and highlighting what the company plans to do going forward:

To valued members and guests,

I, like so many of you, continue to be sickened and so disheartened by the stories that have recently been published about sexual misconduct at Massage Envy franchise locations. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and to those who suffered, I am deeply sorry.

The safety of members and guests has always been and will always be paramount. And, we are always looking for ways to do more.

Our initial reaction after reading the media reports was to respond immediately. But, we felt it was important to first talk directly to victims and victim rights groups, industry associations, and sexual violence experts to help define our plan.  Early next week, we’ll share the details of a comprehensive and transparent path forward.  To make meaningful change in this industry, we have to do it thoughtfully and we cannot do it alone.  Thankfully, there are many others that feel like we do and are anxious to help.

In the meantime, we are not standing still.

  • Each location was required to review, recommunicate and, in no uncertain terms, recommit to our safety and reporting policies.
  • We have just completed an additional review of all massage therapist files to ensure they have a completed background check and professional reference checks as well as to ensure their licensure/certification is current and annual training requirements have been met.
  • Our accredited third-party background screening company has begun rescreening each and every one of the 20,000 licensed massage therapists within the Massage Envy network.

Let me be clear: this is just the start and these first steps are not the complete answer. We are taking a hard look at ourselves and at the additional changes we must make. Next week, we will announce those changes and begin to put them into action.

We will never stop working to earn your trust.

U.S. Marshals said after learning police were investigation him, Nahle went to Canada. A warrant was issued for his arrest. On his way back to the states, he was arrested at the border.

Nahle doesn't have a criminal history but the judge ordered him behind bars for a concern of Nahle being a flight risk. 

The American Massage Therapy Association stresses that victims should call the police if they feel they've been assaulted.
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