A Prince George massage therapist, who was suspected of masturbating during appointments, has admitted to using his phone while massaging patients and now faces disciplinary actions.
Local RMT Trevor Scott signed two consent agreements in January 2021 after an investigation into the concerns of two female patients was concluded.
According to the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CBMTBC), Scott will serve 10-days worth of suspensions, fines totalling $4,500 and intensive remedial coursework on professional ethics and boundaries.
In April 2019, a female patient contacted CMTBC to advise of her concerns that during some recent massage therapy treatments, she believed Scott used his cellphone with one hand while massaging her with the other.
During investigation, an additional concern arose, namely that while treating a male undercover investigator posing as a patient, Scott used his phone with one hand while massaging with his other hand while the patient was lying face down on the massage table.
The investigator found that Scott had his cellular phone in his hand for a total of 15 minutes and 24 seconds of the 45-minute treatment and was using it to play a game similar to Candy Crush.
The report states, on multiple occasions in late 2018 and early 2019, Scott used his cellphone while a patient was lying face down on the massage table.
He says it was originally to communicate with front desk staff at his clinic and then eventually to access and play puzzles or games in order 'to remain alert and awake.'
However, the college says the evidence gathered during the investigation did not support a conclusion that Scott had taken photos or video recordings of any patient while using his phone during treatment.
In the second instance, CMTBC received a complaint in March 2019 about Scott from a female patient who alleged that during two massage therapy treatments, Scott masturbated with one hand while massaging with his other hand.
During the investigation, Scott said he no longer has a specific recollection of the alleged incidents, but he acknowledges that it is possible that he was treating the patient with one hand while using his other hand to hold and use his cellular phone without her knowledge.
This investigation also references the undercover male investigator who witnessed Scott use his phone during the 45-minute massage.
The Inquiry Committee says it considers Scott’s admitted conduct to be serious.
“A patient who sees his or her RMT using a mobile phone while he or she is unclothed during a massage therapy treatment is likely to become distressed and upset. In using his mobile phone during treatments of patients, Mr. Scott was not treating those patients with respect or acting in their best interests, and the effectiveness and safety of his treatments may have been compromised.”
As well as a formal reprimand and fines, Scott now faces a permanent condition on his practice of massage therapy, namely that he cannot have his cellphone present in any treatment room during a massage therapy treatment.
CMTBC’s Inquiry Committee says it is satisfied that the undertaking and consent agreement appropriately reflects the seriousness of the Scott’s conduct and will protect patient safety.