A masseuse at Just Relaxation Spa in Ridgewood was arrested for forceable touching and harassment after a customer reported being sexually groped and videotaped during her massage session on August 17.
Deborah Brooks spoke to Bushwick Daily about her experience in the spa, saying she was touched inappropriately by an employee, identified as 41-year-old Caizhang Chen, numerous times.
Brooks said she was separated by a curtain in the same room as her fiancé, and reported being sexually groped and rubbed during her session. At one point, she said she heard Chen film her naked body with his iphone camera.
“I heard the iphone video sound.. and thought, ‘did he just take a video of me?’ And he accidentally did it with the flash on and then quickly turned it off,” Brooks said.
“I saw the light and I heard the noise, and I feel confident that he took a video,” she continued.
Brooks said she felt uncomfortable and knew the actions were inappropriate, but did not speak up because it happened so quickly. She told Bushwick Daily she believes Chen was trying to get her to touch him, and even tried to remove her engagement ring.
“I kept thinking to myself ‘If he does that again, I’ll tell him to stop.’ But it was really fast when it was inappropriate, and then it was normal again,” she said. “I just laid there shivering and then it was over.”
At the end of the massage, Brooks told her fiancé what had happened, and the couple confronted the masseuse.
After demanding to see his camera roll to confirm if he videotaped her, Brooks said Chen ran out of the room. Shortly after, the couple left without paying and called the police.
According to the Office of Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI) an arrest was made around 8:30 pm. Later in the evening, Brooks’ fiancé noticed over $200 missing from his wallet, and told Bushwick Daily he believes it was stolen by a female employee in the spa during the altercation.
At least eight other accusations of sexual assault are posted on the spa’s Yelp page, each written in July and August of this year.
One statement on Yelp claims that a woman was groped and “sexually accostated” by a male masseuse. The reviewer said they went to the sexual crimes unit to report the incident, but that nothing was done “because it was only harassment.”
A stream of Yelp reviews claim that management has ignored the issue, condoned sexual assault, and failed to protect their clients.
“There are multiple complaints about this place. We just don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Brooks’ fiancé, Mike Recine, said.
Bushwick Daily went to Just Relaxation to speak with a manager about these allegations, but they would not comment.
Shortly after, the establishment drew their curtains and closed early for the evening.
This is a developing story. Check back with updates.
Have you or someone you know experienced sexual assault from Just Relaxation Spa? We want to hear your story. Email us at [email protected] as we continue to investigate this story.
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