A 53 year old Oak Lawn man, Joseph Muthana, was charged last week with “misdemeanor battery” when a massage therapist at Massage Envy, claimed that Muthana grabbed the inside of her thigh with his hand and pulled her closer during a massage while allegedly saying, “come closer, I want to feel the sensation”.
Muthana denied that the incident occurred when police officers arrived. According to the officers, Muthana agreed that he was there to get a massage. But after that, his story was quite different than the massage therapist’s version of events. Muthana said that he had requested a different therapist and when he did so he was asked to leave.
The female therapist claimed that Muthana was asked to leave and not return to the store after he grabbed the inside of her right thigh between the knee and pelvic region and pulled her closer.
The police officers, according to the report, found the therapist’s story to be more plausible and arrested Muthana after the therapist signed a misdemeanor battery complaint. Muthana will have an opportunity to tell his side of the story to a judge in the Bridgeview Courthouse.
Massage parlors have been a constant source of political debate in Oak Lawn since Mayor Sandra Bury and her party made the establishments an issue in their successful election in 2013 claiming that there were too many massage parlors. Massage Envy opened at 11022 S. Cicero in the Mariano’s shopping center after being approved in a contentious debate in April of 2014.
Former Trustee Carol Quinlan criticized the idea of Massage Envy opening in the Stony Creek Promenade at the time. She said then that she didn’t know about the plans and had not been kept “in the loop” by Village Manager Larry Deetjen.
Quinlan, Trustee Alex Olejniczak and Trustee Robert Streit opposed the granting of the license with Quinlan arguing that a massage parlor was “not part of our vision” for the development. Quinlan said the original plan for the development was to include upscale retail stores. In frustration, she asked, “where are the retail stores?”
Quinlan, saying she had been misled, offered a compromise at the time asking if Massage Envy could be moved to the Edgar Funeral Home site, which was vacant at the time. Quinlan’s argument that the previous administration had a vision for an upscale development was ignored by Village Manager Larry Deetjen, who said that every business should be treated with ultimate respect.
Quinlan noted, “We have talked about this a lot over the past seven years and our idea was to attract retail businesses to make this an upscale development.”
At the time, Trustee Terry Vorderer defended the idea of allowing Massage Envy into the development. claiming he had “researched it” and the massage parlor was a first class operation. Vorderer, Trustee Tim Desmond and Trustee Mike Carberry voted for the license and Mayor Sandra Bury broke the tie in favor of approving the license.