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Fitness center, woman settle sex assault suit


A woman has reached an out-of-court settlement with a Dorsey fitness center where a trainer fondled her during a consultation in 1993.

The Hanover woman received an undisclosed amount of money from National Fitness Center and the man who fondled her. Notice of the settlement was filed in Howard Circuit Court June 12.

A jury trial had been scheduled to start yesterday. The woman originally sought $35 million in damages from National Fitness and the trainer, John David Bailey of Baltimore.

Mr. Bailey, 30, was ordered to complete six months of probation after pleading guilty in March 1994 to a sexual offense in Circuit Court for the May 11, 1993, incident.

In the lawsuit, the woman claimed that the fitness center's operators were negligent in hiring Mr. Bailey. The suit contended that the company should have known of the likelihood that he would sexually assault her.

The suit also asserted that the company failed to properly monitor Mr. Bailey to avoid the incident.

Natalie Magdeburger, a Towson lawyer for National Center, did not return telephone calls to her office yesterday. Mr. Bailey could not be reached for comment.

The victim, who is receiving counseling because of the incident, said she decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid a potentially painful trial.

"I just don't think I was up to going through with the trial," she said. "I wanted it over with, to put it behind me."

The fitness center, in the 6800 block of Douglas Legum Drive, has been sold since the incident and is now called the Baltimore Sports Club.

According to the lawsuit and police reports, the woman met with VTC Bailey in a private office to measure her body fat and discuss her workout routine. He then closed the office's door and window blinds.

During the consultation, Mr. Bailey grabbed the woman's inner thigh, buttocks and breasts, records say.

She became upset and rushed out of the office, then went to her home and called police.

Mr. Bailey admitted to police investigators during an interview that he had grabbed the woman.

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