Woman says she was raped by massage therapist sent to her NYC home via wellness app

Darla Miles Image
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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A New York woman is suing wellness app Soothe and claiming that she was raped by a sexual predator it sent to her home.

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- A New York woman is suing a wellness app and claiming that she was raped by a sexual predator it sent to her home.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says the husband of the victim, known as Jane SE Doe, was out of town on Valentine's Day so he ordered her a massage through the Soothe app.

She says the man the company sent sexually assaulted her.

"I've been traumatized by this event, since he knows where I live, I have the fear of this monster returning to my home," she said. "When I was alone in my home and at my most vulnerable with a considerably larger man that Soothe sent to my home, he abused that power and raped me."

The NYPD said the attack was reported to the 81st Precinct in Bed-Stuy back in February on the night it happened.

Soothe allows customers to order on-demand massage therapists and advertises itself as "the largest and most popular mobile wellness platform in the world."

"It's essentially, as we've alleged, an Uber for massage therapists," the victim's attorney Nathan Werksman said.

Soothe claims its massage therapists undergo identity verification, criminal background checks and monitoring. But the man who came to the victim's home went by the fake name Hernando Giraldo.

The lawsuit alleges that he had previously been arrested after sexually assaulting another Soothe customer.

The victim's attorney said the couple had used the app before without any problems.

"My husband and I contacted Soothe about the incident," the victim said. "Soothe referred us to their trust and safety team, did not contact myself or my husband for almost a full week, and only when we contacted the Soothe CEO via LinkedIn."

The suspect has not been publicly identified by his real name and his whereabouts are unknown.

"I filed a lawsuit to stand up as a survivor of sexual assault and to seek just for the way my life has been destroyed," the victim said.

In a statement from Soothe Inc. it reads:

"Our number one priority is the safety of our clients, and we take this allegation very seriously. We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any and all harm to our clients or providers who use our platform. We work diligently to ensure all independent contractor therapists using our app are vigorously reviewed to ensure they meet our safety and licensing standards. We are actively working with authorities on this ongoing investigation."

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