WOODMERE, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team found a local woman speaking out and taking legal action for what she says happened to her at a spa.
Alishia Sparks-Gullatt has filed a lawsuit against Blissful Foot Spa in Woodmere. She has also filed a complaint with police.
She has accused a man of sexual misconduct when he gave her a massage. She says he also left her with bruises.
Sparks-Gullatt told us how she and her husband reacted when they first saw the bruises.
“We were like, ‘Oh my God!’” she said.
The lawsuit says the man massaging her “aggressively fondled her,” and “forced her to expose her private parts.”
“He literally says to me, ‘these have to come off,’ and he removes my underwear and throws them. At that point, I’m in sheer panic,” Sparks-Gullatt said.
“I mean, this is a case about sexual assault, quite frankly.” Attorney Allen Boseman said. “She was scared. She didn’t know where this was going and all she kept saying to herself, over and over again, is, ‘I hope this doesn’t go any further.’”
There’s more than a lawsuit filed over this. A criminal complaint, too. Woodmere police say they’re investigating.
No decision has been made yet on whether or not there should be criminal charges.
Of course, we also reached out to the Blissful Foot Spa.
We spoke to the spa’s attorney, Michael Harvey.
“She didn’t complain about her privacy being violated, being hurt. She left a tip. She said she was happy with everything and we have that on tape,” he said.
Harvey argues that the customer didn’t complain the day she got her massage. He even raises questions about the bruises.
“The photographs she shows of her bruising, we don’t believe happened during the massage. We believe, if it’s even her, it happened somewhere else, some other time,” he said.
The response from the spa left the customer and her attorney outraged.
“To suggest some alternative theory without any proof is absurd, ridiculous and completely disrespectful. Not only to Alishia, but to any woman who has been a victim of sexual assault,” Boseman said.
Boseman told us his understanding is that his client paid for the massage beforehand and not afterward.
He says she has proof those injuries are, in fact, hers and they happened during the massage.
So, for now, that lawsuit is headed to court.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. Anyone. Man or woman. I just… (shakes head) no,” Sparks-Gullatt said,
We’ve also learned of some talk about possibly trying to settle the case, but that quickly fell apart. For now, the case is heading toward an eventual trial.