Saanich massage therapist charged with secretly observing client while nude
VICTORIA -- A massage therapist in Saanich is facing a charge of voyeurism after he allegedly recorded or observed a client while they were nude.
Gilles-Philippe Lavoie, 48, is facing a charge of secretly observing or recording a person while they were in a private place.
According to Saanich police, the incident occurred on Aug. 10.
"The victim reported the incident to us directly on the date it occurred," Saanich police told CTV News on Wednesday.
"He was arrested on the same day in the evening and he was released later that night with conditions and also a court date."
Police say they are providing supports to the victim and say they are available to support victims of similar crimes.
"Obviously this is very disturbing incident, and it is very sensitive to the victim involved," said Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades.
"It happened in a place where this person expected to be in complete privacy and again it is very disturbing that this happened."
Police say their investigation is only focusing on one victim at this time. However, the investigation is ongoing and Saanich police say they will fully investigate any similar reports or claims.
The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia says Lavoie voluntarily resigned his registration on Aug. 25, amid investigations by both the college and police.
The organization says it received a complaint about Lavoie regarding the same alleged activity on Aug. 10.
"Obviously, it is very disturbing and concerning conduct," said Eric Wredenhagen, the college’s CEO. "It is distressing to hear of this and if true, completely unprofessional and unacceptable conduct for any RMT to engage in."
The college notes that Lavoie’s resignation is not an admission of guilt, however.
"The allegations made against the former registrant remain unproven unless they are admitted by the former registrant or unless a discipline committee panel makes a finding at any discipline hearing that may relate to this matter," said the college in a notice on Aug. 28.
Lavoie is scheduled to appear in court in Victoria on Nov. 25.
None of the allegations have been tested or proven in court or in a regulatory proceeding.