Austin woman claims she was sexually assaulted at nail salon
A woman claims she was sexually assaulted while at a Southwest Austin nail salon. A lawsuit filed states she was touched inappropriately under her shirt while getting a neck massage.
The woman asked to be identified only by her first name, Christine.
Christine told CBS Austin that she doesn't want attention and isn't looking to get rich. Instead, she hopes speaking out will inspire other potential victims to come forward.
The alleged incident happened in June 2017 at "The Nail Bar" on Slaughter Lane.
Christine said she has gotten her nails done at the salon for the last decade. She stopped going after the two alleged incidents involving an adult female employee.
According to the lawsuit, the first incident occurred when the was getting a pedicure from the owner's mother-in-law.
"When (the employee) stood up, she banged on my breasts like the bongos," said Christine.
Christine felt violated, but told CBS Austin she tried to brush it off as strange and inappropriate behavior. When she went back a few weeks later, she says the behavior escalated while she was getting a neck massage.
"I was slumped down, arms down, and then she quickly stuck her hand down my shirt, down my bra, grabbed my breast and squeezed my nipple," said Christine.
Christine said she wanted to scream, but instead, she froze.
"I just sat there," said Christine. "I understand now why people don't do anything. You're in shock."
She was embarrassed, but told CBS Austin that she eventually asked to speak with an owner.
"He said, 'Oh yeah, my mother-in-law does that all the time. We always have to tell her she can't play with people like that,'" explained Christine.
Since the incident, Christine said she has struggled emotionally.
"It's been a nightmare. An emotional roller coaster. I never thought I would feel like this. But, it still today affects me at my work," said Christine.
Christine filed a police report. A misdemeanor 'Simple Assault by Contact' charge was filed. The accused nail salon employee pleaded not guilty.
An attorney for the nail salon told CBS Austin that her client is "in shock" and denies anything ever happened. The salon owner claims that in all their years in business, they've never received a complaint like Christine's.
The salon's attorney said they plan to file a counter suit.