Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Charleston spa owners sued after employee accused of sexual assault

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A sexual assault victim is suing a Charleston-area spa and its owner/operators after the victim says one of their massage therapists sexually assaulted her during a massage back in 2019, court records show. 

The assault happened in July of 2019 at Simply Your Spa in West Ashley, according to the lawsuit filed on Apr. 14. 

It was not the first time the plaintiff—who’s identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit because it’s a criminal sexual conduct case—went to that spa, but it was the first time Julius Goodley was her massage therapist, the suit states. 

During the massage, while Doe was “disrobed, blindfolded and defenseless” Goodley sexually assaulted her, the lawsuit alleges. 

Doe immediately reported the assault to police, the lawsuit states, and Goodley was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, public records show. He pleaded guilty to that charge in January of 2022. 

The lawsuit claims the spa and its owner/operators, Bobbi Jo and Arnold O’Neal, should be held liable for the harm to Doe. 

The suit alleges the spa and the O’Neals should have taken reasonable steps to make sure their customers were safe and alleges they did not run a criminal background check or reference check before hiring Goodley, when the suit claims he had prior complaints at other massage establishments. 

The spa also did not have standards of conduct or policies in place to prevent or minimize the risk of assaults, court documents allege. 

The plaintiff is suing for negligence and emotional distress and is seeking compensation to cover the damages and attorneys’ fees. 

Neither the spa nor its owners have responded to a request for comment. 

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

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