MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Maryville police officer who was reportedly raped during an undercover investigation of a massage parlor last year has filed a civil lawsuit.

The civil lawsuit filed in June seeks $500,000 in damages from Xiedong Xu, the former owner of Oriental Wellness Massage, and Foothills Mall Owner Equities, LLC.

Xu was charged with one count of rape and two counts of impersonation of a licensed professional in June 2022 after a female undercover officer reported she was sexually assaulted during a massage while posing as a customer. The criminal case has been bound over to a grand jury, which will convene in September.

According to an incident report filed in the case, the police department was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct during massages. It also states that the undercover officer was sent into the business on June 7, 2022, to see if the business would provide massage therapy services without a license.

The Maryville Daily Times first reported the charges and lawsuit. The newspaper also reported that the officer filed an internal grievance shortly after the investigation claiming that she was put in harm’s way due to a lack of planning before the investigation.

“As we go about our daily work, we are faced with certain realities. One of those is that police work is dangerous, and every day can bring unforeseen threats to each member of our police force. While we do our best to protect our employees from harm – including through a rigorous requirement of training and development – this inherent risk is understood and an unfortunate reality for our profession.”

City of Maryville statement

Investigators found that Oriental Wellness Massage had lost its license in 2017 and Xu had surrendered his massage therapy license to the state licensure board in May 2019.

The suit asserts that the officer has been unable to resume her duties as a police officer as a result of post-traumatic stress and extreme mental anguish.

Xu’s attorney, WATE legal analyst Greg Isaacs, has filed a motion to delay the civil proceeding until the criminal case has been concluded.