A candidate for the Oregon house of representatives sued a massage parlor for nearly half-a-million dollars after he said its owner groped him during a massage.
Anthony Medina, a Democratic candidate for the Oregon house, said he was left with ’emotional injury and mental anguish, trauma, an inability to form close relationships, nightmares’ in a lawsuit against the Woodburn Spa in Woodburn, Oregon.
Medina is asking for $450,000 in damages and that the spa and two other parlors owned by Fuxiu Zhen be shut down. He also asked that Zhen be barred from running massage parlors, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Medina claimed that during a February visit to the Woodburn Spa, Zhen pulled his underwear off and began to fondle him. Medina said he immediately stopped her and left shortly after, then told his wife about the incident and reported it to police the same day.
Medina said the incident caused trauma from a previous sexual assault to resurface. He is seeking $150,000 for economic damages and $300,000 in non-economic, according to the Oregon Capital Chronicle.
Medina is the second public official to report the Woodburn Spa for inappropriate sexual behavior. The town’s mayor, Eric Swenson, came forward about a January incident at the spa after Medina told him about his experience.
‘They’re operating with impunity,’ said Medina’s attorney, Sean Riddell, ‘My client’s desire is to shut down these businesses.’
Anthony Medina sued the Woodburn Spa after he said its owner Fuxiu Zhen groped him during a February visit
The Woodburn Spa in Woodburn, Oregon. It is owned by Chinese native Fuxiu Zhen. Medina’s lawsuit alleges the parlor is part of a criminal ring which includes prostitution, human trafficking, and coercion. No evidence is cited for these allegation
Medina, who receives monthly massages for chronic back pain, said he visited the recently opened Woodburn Spa in February after he couldn’t get an appointment at his usual chiropractor.
Zhen was giving the massage, and Medina said he was startled when she began to grope his genitals after pulling off his underwear.
‘Plaintiff immediately told the masseuse that he did not want to be touched in that manner,’ the lawsuit said, ‘The masseuse then briefly massaged Plaintiff’s feet for 10 seconds and then terminated the massage at roughly 20 minutes at which Medina left.’
The lawsuit also alleges the parlor is part of a criminal ring which includes prostitution, human trafficking, and coercion. No evidence is cited for these allegation.
‘These can be difficult things to talk about, but we all have a responsibility to act, whether you are a victim or are aware of any possibility that human trafficking and exploitation might be happening in our community,’ Medina said last month.
Medina serves on the Woodburn School Board and is the Democratic nominee 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 criminal complaint.
He said he participated in a few minutes ‘mutual groping’ during a massage with Zhen before deciding to leave the spa.
In May, Mayor Swenson won the Democratic nomination for the Woodburn state Senate seat but stepped down after the primary election. He later denied the incident at the massage parlor had anything to do with the decision to drop out, saying he would run for another mayoral term instead.
Swenson and Medina both serve on the Woodburn School Board. Medina remains the Democratic nominee for Oregon House District 22.
After the reports against the spa Zhen and another female masseuse were arrested for practicing without a state license. Both were Chinese natives who had recently relocated 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 been shut down since the reports. Though she dissolved the Woodburn Spa’s state registration, the Statesman Journal reported it was still operating as of last month.