Massage Envy Tenleytown employee arrested for sexually abusing client, police say

An employee at a Tenleytown massage parlor was arrested after he sexually abused a client, according to authorities.

Police said a woman reported that she was sexually abused at Massage Envy Tenleytown located at 4926 Wisconsin Ave. NW at about 1:45 p.m. on Sunday.

The woman told police she was receiving a massage from 24-year old Habtamu Gebreslassie when he placed his tongue on her genitals.

Gebreslassie, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was arrested and charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a patient or client.

According to court documents, Gebreslassie denied the accusations, saying he only massaged the client's arms and neck before stopping at the request of the client.

Massage Envy released the following statement to FOX 5:

"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."

Gebreslassie is due in court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing, according to court documents.