Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced that the State is seeking to revoke the massage therapy license of a Monmouth County massage therapist amid allegations he engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with two female clients during massage therapy sessions at Massage Envy spas.
Steven A. Segovia allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with clients while working as a massage therapist in the fall of 2013.
According to a Complaint filed by the State with the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy, Segovia engaged in oral sex with a female client during a massage therapy session at Massage Envy in Manalapan, and engaged in sexual intercourse with another female client during a massage therapy session at Massage Envy in Freehold.
“Massage therapists cannot, under any circumstances, engage in sexual contact with their clients. It is a clear violation of professional boundaries and an abuse of client trust,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Massage therapists who breach this fundamental rule, as this one allegedly did, face serious consequences for their actions.”
“Instead of treating clients with the dignity and respect they deserve, Steven Segovia allegedly treated them like easy prey to be used for his personal satisfaction,” said Paul Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “We have zero tolerance for this kind of depraved behavior. Clients subjected to inappropriate sexual contact from Segovia, or any other licensed massage therapist, are encouraged to immediately report the matter to the Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy.”
According to the State’s Complaint, Segovia had inappropriate sexual contact with a 52-year-old client during massage sessions at a Massage Envy spa in Manalapan in October 2013.
During the first alleged incident, Segovia placed a finger into the woman’s vagina while massaging her gluteal muscles. When the client asked him what he was doing, Segovia said “I’m sorry. I misread you. I’ll never do it again.”
During a subsequent massage session with the same woman, Segovia performed oral sex on her at the end of the session. According to the Complaint, Segovia admitted to giving the woman a massage, having sexual contact with her at a Massage Envy location, and performing oral sex on her.
Segovia allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with another woman during a massage session at a Massage Envy spa in Freehold. According to the State’s Complaint, the woman had undergone numerous massages by Segovia throughout 2013 and, as the sessions progressed, he began asking her personal questions, specifically inquiring if she had a boyfriend.
Segovia also informed the woman that she could receive a massage from him in his home and pay him privately, according to the State’s Complaint.
The alleged sexual contact occurred during the woman’s final massage therapy session in September 2013. While the woman was lying on her stomach, Segovia massaged her buttocks area and used his fingers to slide her underwear to one side, then penetrated her vagina with his penis, according to the State’s Complaint. Afterward, Segovia allegedly whispered into the woman’s ear “This will be our little secret, okay?”
The State seeks to revoke Segovia’s license on grounds of gross negligence that endangers the public; professional misconduct, and failure to comply with regulations prohibiting licensed massage therapists from engaging in sexual contact with clients.
Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Nisha S. Lakhani, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, is representing the State in this matter.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.