An Oregon House of Representatives candidate has sued a massage parlor for nearly half a million dollars after saying its owner groped him during a massage.
Anthony Medina, a Democratic nominee for the Oregon House, said he suffered “emotional injuries and mental anguish, trauma, inability to build close relationships, nightmares” in a lawsuit against the Woodburn Spa in Woodburn, Oregon.
Medina is demanding $450,000 in damages and that Fuxiu Zhen’s spa and two other salons be closed. He also requested that Zhen be banned from running massage parlors, according to: Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Medina claimed that during a visit to the Woodburn Spa in February, Zhen took off his underwear and started stroking him. Medina said he immediately arrested her and left shortly after, told his wife about the incident and reported it to police the same day.
Medina said the incident revealed trauma from a previous assault. He is demanding $150,000 in economic damages and $300,000 in non-economic damages, according to the Oregon Capital Chronicle.
Medina is the second official to report to the Woodburn Spa for inappropriate sexual conduct. The city’s mayor, Eric Swenson, came forward about a January incident at the spa after Medina told him about his experience.
“They operate with impunity,” said Medina’s attorney, Sean Riddell, “my client’s wish is to close these businesses.”
Anthony Medina sued Woodburn Spa after saying owner Fuxiu Zhen groped him during a visit in February
The Woodburn Spa in Woodburn, Oregon. It is owned by the Chinese native Fuxiu Zhen. Medina’s lawsuit alleges that the salon is part of a criminal gang that includes prostitution, human trafficking and coercion. No evidence is cited for this claim
Medina, who receives monthly massages for chronic back pain, said he visited the newly opened Woodburn Spa in February after being unable to get an appointment with his usual chiropractor.
Zhen gave the massage and Medina said he was shocked when she started to feel his genitals after she took off his underwear.
“Plaintiff immediately told the masseuse that he did not want to be touched in that way,” the lawsuit said. “The masseuse then briefly massaged Plaintiff’s feet for 10 seconds and then ended the massage for about 20 minutes after which Medina left.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the salon is part of a criminal gang that includes prostitution, human trafficking and coercion. No evidence is presented for these claims.
“These can be difficult things to talk about, but we all have a responsibility to act, whether you are a victim or aware of the possibility that human trafficking and exploitation is taking place in our community,” Medina said last month.
Medina serves on the Woodburn School Board and is the Democratic candidate for Oregon House District 22
Woodburn Mayor Eric Swenson came forward about a January incident at the spa after Medina told him about his experience
Swenson described a similar experience to Medina in his indictment.
He said he had a few minutes of “mutual groping” during a massage with Zhen before deciding to leave the spa.
In May, Mayor Swenson won the Democratic nomination for the Woodburn Senate seat, but resigned after the primaries. He later denied that the incident at the massage parlor had anything to do with the decision to quit, saying he would instead run for another term as mayor.
Swenson and Medina are both members of the Woodburn School Board. Medina remains the Democratic nominee for Oregon House District 22.
Following the charges against the spa, Zhen and another female masseuse were arrested for practicing without a state license. Both were Chinese natives who had recently moved from California to Oregon.
According to police reports, at least one of the women was living in the spa at the time of their arrest.
None of Zhen’s businesses have closed since the reports. Although she dissolved the Woodburn Spa’s state registry, Statesman Journal reported that it was still working as of last month.