Insurer Isn’t Liable For Masseuse Sexual Assault

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – Evanston Insurance is not liable for a $220,000 judgment against a massage therapist who sexually assaulted a female client, the 8th Circuit ruled.

     The insurer filed for declaratory judgment, asserting that Machaga Johns’ conduct was not covered by his policy. Johns had repeatedly touched a woman’s genitals during a therapeutic massage, but was found not guilty of criminal sexual assault because his mental illness prevented him from fully comprehending his crime.
     His victim said the insurer should pay, because Johns was incapable of “intent” for the behavior excluded in his policy.
     “The presence or lack of intent does not control the outcome of this suit,” Judge Riley wrote. Evanston’s policy clearly excluded coverage for Johns’ massage misconduct.

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