Police investigating reported sexual assault at Massage Envy in Lanham

- Prince George's County police say they are investigating a report of a sexual assault at a Massage Envy in Lanham that may be connected to three other reported incidents in the D.C. area.

The woman filed the report on Sunday claiming the assault took place back in June. Prince George's County police are saying very little about the woman’s allegation other than it took place at the massage business located in the Woodmore Towne Centre.

A source familiar with the investigation says the woman came forward after seeing stories about assaults taking place at two other massage locations in D.C. and thinks it may have involved the same man charged in those cases.

The first incident was reported on September 17 after a female client called police after her appointment at the Massage Envy on Wisconsin Avenue, NW, in Tenleytown. She told police the massage therapist inappropriately touched her and performed a sex act without her consent.

Habtamu Gebreslassie was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a patient or client and second-degree sexual abuse for that case.

A few days later, another massage customer contacted police to say Gebreslassie tried to do the same thing to her on August 28. A charging document filed in the case says when the assault began the woman yelled, "Hey this is about a massage!" Gebreslassie then apologized and told the woman "I've never done this before. I don't know what got into me.”

The 24-year-old masseur was charged with attempted first-degree sexual abuse of a patient or client and attempted second-degree sexual abuse for that incident.

A third reported incident allegedly took place at Deluca Massage and Bodywork on P Street, NW, in Dupont Circle.

Massage Envy did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. But they previously issued a statement after Gebreslassie’s arrest saying:

"Massage Envy requires franchisees to complete extensive background screenings and reference checks and strictly enforce our Code of Conduct and Zero Tolerance Policy to ensure guests have a safe and professional experience when they visit a franchised location. The therapist at issue is no longer employed by the franchisee."

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