A South Okanagan massage therapist is no longer allowed to treat female patients after accusations he sexted during appointments and sneaked looks at patients’ naked bodies.
Last week, the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia announced it launched an investigation into Brent Rowland, formerly of Naramata’s now closed Equilibrium Massage Therapy.
A note posted to the Equilibrium Massage Therapy by Rowland, stated the practice is being suspended for the foreseeable future.
Rowland is accused of sending sexual images and texts during massage therapy appointments and viewing female patients’ disrobed bodies when lifting the draping sheet as patients turned over.
Based on evidence given by the public, the college is satisfied there is a prima facie case, or enough evidence, of sexual misconduct. The college said the evidence was not “not manifestly unfounded, unreliable or exaggerated.”
The college also concluded there is a real risk of harm to patients if Rowland were allowed to continue to practice without restriction.
“Having weighed the different options and the circumstances of this case, and having weighed the impact of interim measures on the registrant, the panel concluded that a condition barring Mr. Rowland from treating female patients is proportionate and necessary to protect the public during the investigation or pending a hearing of the discipline committee,” reads the disciplinary action from the college.
The college is also investigating allegations against Rowland for “conduct unbecoming,” for which the college said there is no related risk to the public.
None of the allegations laid out by the college have been proven.
Rowland replied to the Penticton Western News with his response to the allegation.
There have been some very unfortunate allegations made against me. They are allegations only and no investigation of them has been completed. I understand the need for the College to err on the side of caution when protecting the public interest.
That is their job. I sincerely regret that the College has found it necessary to act in such a way in this instance. I know that many people assume that anyone accused of a wrongdoing is automatically guilty. All I can say is that I plan to cooperate fully with the investigation, and I hope it can proceed as quickly as possible.
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