The Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy said Williams failed to notify the licensing board that he was charged with sexual abuse in 2021. He also failed to tell the board when he applied for a massage license in 2011 that he gave up his physical-therapy license after a similar allegation in 2002, the board said.
The board said the actions were violations of state laws governing massage therapists.
The board opened an investigation of Williams’ license in 2021 after inquiries from The Arizona Republic. Williams was arrested on charges of sexual abuse in 2021 and had a felony sexual abuse conviction in 2002.
Flagstaff Justice Court records show that Williams was charged with two counts sexual abuse in August 2021 after a female client told police he rubbed her bare breasts with his hands during two massages in 2020. The client was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and sought out massages as part of her treatment regimen, according to a police report. Williams has denied the allegation, and court records say the criminal complaint was dismissed in December 2021.
But Williams did not report the August criminal charges to state regulators within 10 working days, as is required by law. When questioned, he told the board that he was under the assumption his former legal counsel was going to report the charges.
The board also was concerned about a 2002 felony conviction that Williams did not disclose when he applied for his massage license in 2011. The massage board's investigator, David Elson, told board members that Williams "grossly falsified" his application for a massage therapist license.
Williams was asked on his application whether he had ever been subject to a disciplinary action by a licensing agency. He answered "no."
In fact, he had been disciplined by another regulatory board, the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy. Licensing documents show his physical therapy license was put on probation in 1994 for a year after the board said he had a sexual relationship with a client.
Later, in 2002, he surrendered his physical therapy license after being accused of touching the genitals of another female client. A female client, who was also a dance partner, alleged he sexually touched her at his home.
A Coconino County Superior Court jury found him guilty of one count of sexual abuse the same year. He was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation, although court records say the conviction was later set aside by different judge in 2004.
Williams told the board on he didn't disclose the criminal conviction on his massage license application because the conviction was set aside. He said he was acting on the advice of his attorney.
He acknowledged, however, that "I did not provide any documentation about setting aside (the conviction), which should have accompanied the initial application. It sounds like I’m basically in violation of those things.”
A client, identified as V.H., alleged that Peck touched her vaginal area during a massage on June 2, 2021. She said she was in a panic for 35 to 40 seconds before she grabbed his left hand.
She alleges he responded with words to the effect of, “thank you for setting up the boundaries of our relationship.” She said she told him, “we’re done,” and left.
“This was not a momentary, simple mistake. This went on at least 30 seconds…I was freaking out,” she told the Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy.
Peck’s attorney, James Buesing, told the board at a meeting that Peck’s action were a “simple momentary mistake” on the part of an experienced therapist. He said he immediately apologized for what happened. He said the situation does not rise to “gross negligence” on the part of Peck. He said revoking or suspending Peck’s license would not be appropriate.
Aaron Frank Orrico was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2020 after police said he assaulted three women while giving them massages in 2016.
The women say they suffered physical, emotional and psychological trauma after receiving massages from Aaron Frank Orrico at Namti Spa.
One of the women said Orrico touched and fondled her genitals during a massage in February 2016. She told him, "no thanks," and she alleges he whispered in her ear, "I hope I didn't offend you."
The second alleged the incident happened in June of the same year, when another woman said he massaged her breasts, touched around her anus and fondled her genitals. A civil lawsuit alleges Orrico kept telling her he only wanted to make her feel good.
The suit alleges there are other victims, saying that Orrico "admitted" he gave a similar "special massage" to as many as 10% of his female customers without receiving consent for the sexual contact.
The lawsuit said a third woman, who is not a plaintiff in the civil suit, also had her breasts and genitals touched and fondled later that year, in November, while Orrico was working at the Spa of Sedona.
Orrico and his attorney denied allegations in letters to state regulators.
Orrico wrote to the board that he has always complied with the standards, regulations and laws governing massage therapy. He said he had provided about 1,500 massages since becoming a licensed massage therapist in 2014, and the 2016 incidents were the first that resulted in complaints.
A woman alleged that she fell asleep on the couch and woke up to Cavender messing with her feet, according to court records. Cavender was the woman and her boyfriend’s roommate. Cavender then put his naked penis between her feet and used them to masturbate. The woman stated she was afraid to say anything and pretended to be asleep. The incident occurred Aug. 16, 2018.
Cavender admitted to the allegations during a one-party consent phone call between him and the woman’s boyfriend.
According to massage board records, Cavender was arrested on Jan. 29, 2020, on one count of sexual assault. He later pled guilty to one count of attempted sexual assault on June 18. He was ordered to serve six months in jail and lifetime probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,608
The licensing board was not notified of the arrest or conviction within 10 days of either event, and Cavender failed to renew his license in a timely manner, according to records. The board revoked his license in July 2021, after receiving notice from Maricopa County Superior Court that he had plead guilty to one count attempted sexual assault. Board documents say Cavender did not notify the licensing board of his arrest or conviction, which is required by state law.
Caleb Cherry was arrested in February 2019 after police said a woman, “C.B.,” reported he touched her vagina during a massage. She told police she couldn’t believe what was happening and told him, “You need to stop.”
He left the room, and the woman began crying and shaking, she said[b]. She called the front desk of Massage Envy from her cellphone inside the therapy room and told them, “I need a manager to come into Room 9 right now.”
Police said a DNA sample taken from her vaginal area matched a sample taken from Cherry.
After Cherry’s arrest was reported on the news, three more women came forward to Scottsdale Thomas Massage Envy. One, “N.W.”, said Cherry pressed his penis on her during a massage. Another woman, “J.M.”, said he undraped her backside so that her “butt was hanging out” and massaged her inner thigh in an uncomfortable manner.
The state licensing board opened an investigation against Cherry after documents say the Massage Envy spa notified the board it had received three complaints against him. Two of the women also filed complaints with the board. The board revoked his license.
Cherry is being sued in a civil lawsuit by a fourth woman, “S.S.”, who alleges he touched her vagina during a massage in December 2019. She told police she was upset about the incident but didn’t immediately report it because she thought it may have been accidental.
Cherry faced criminal charges on two of the four alleged incidents. He was indicted on two counts sexual abuse and plead guilty to a lesser charge, attempt to commit sexual assault, in two criminal cases. In a sentencing memo, his attorney wrote that there was a "momentary slip" in which Cherry's fingers made contact with the victims' genital areas and that the mistake was made in a professional context.
He was sentenced to 10 years’ probation in one case and three years’ probation in the other criminal case.
A woman alleged that during a massage at Pagliaro’s home in March 2019 he inserted a finger into her vagina several times. He had previously been her massage therapist when he worked at a chiropractic clinic.
She told police that she told him what he was doing was nonconsensual and that she wasn’t there to have sex.
The woman told police she feared for her life during the incident as Pagliaro was a foot taller than her.
She told him she had to go to the bathroom and went to get dressed. As she left the residence, she said he followed her and said, “I didn’t know if I should do that.”
Pagliaro was indicted on two counts sexual assault and one count sexual abuse in March 2019. He later pleaded guilty to one count of attempt to commit sexual assault and one count of sexual abuse.
He was sentenced to 12 months in county jail.
A police report said Pagliaro declined to be interviewed for the investigation. But on a recorded line, he apologized to the woman and acknowledged that the woman had not consented and it was a bad decision on his part. A sentencing memorandum stated that Pagliaro showed “genuine remorse.”
Walther is alleged to have kissed a woman’s genitals during a Dec. 22, 2015, massage at Kalologie 360 Spa in Scottsdale. Court records say the woman sat up and told him, “Oh no.” He apologized and told her he was not used to having such a beautiful woman on his massage table; he then asked if she minded that he massaged “down there.” He later admitted to the allegations, though he declined to discuss them at length.
He was arrested on one count of sexual assault and pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of one count sexual abuse.
Walther’s sentence was suspended and he was given 10 years’ probation. Court records state he struggled to make progress in the mandated sex-offender treatment program, including not accepting responsibility for his offenses. Records say he disclosed during treatment that he had sexual contact with about 12-13 additional massage clients.
He was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison in 2019 for violating probation with presentence credit for 147 days served.
Thomas was charged with three counts sexual abuse after court records say a woman felt him holding her breasts in his hands during a massage and felt his mouth on her breast.
She pushed him away and he attempted to put his mouth on her vagina over her underwear. She pushed him away, told him he had crossed the line and left, according to court records.
Thomas was the owner of the massage business, Sweetness of Massage. This was the woman’s first massage with him.
He later admitted to putting his mouth on her nipple and apologized to the woman in a telephone conversation, court records say. He felt terrible and embarrassed about what happened, court records say.
A report prepared before sentencing by an adult probation officer said Thomas had conflicting views about his offense. He acknowledged his actions were wrong, “but he also displaces blame on the victim by asserting she seemed to enjoy the experience.”
The probation officer wrote: “It is disconcerting that the defendant violated a position of trust and sexually abused a client and someone who was a stranger to him during what was supposed to be a professional service.” Thomas’ actions “shocked and traumatized” the victim, the probation officer wrote.
Thomas pleaded guilty to one count attempted sexual abuse in 2014. His sentence was suspended, and he was given 10 years’ probation.
A 21-year-old woman said she went to Antahn’s house in May 2013 to get a massage after receiving many massages from him in the past; she said they had always been professional. This time, she alleged he massaged her groin area, put his mouth on her breast and rubbed her clitoris, according to court records. He tried to penetrate her vagina with his fingers but court records say she had a tampon in. He later told her over the phone he was sorry for playing with “her boobs and privates,” according to court records.
He told police she started moaning during the massage, and he thought she was consenting. State law bans sexual contact between a massage therapist and a client, even if consensual. He told police he was sorry and ashamed of what happened and that he should have stopped, court records say.
He was indicted on one count sexual abuse and one count sexual assault and pleaded guilty to one count of attempt to commit sexual abuse.
His sentence was suspended, and he was given three years’ probation. The massage board revoked his license in 2015.
A woman contacted Scottsdale police Aug. 11, 2021, and said she had been inappropriately touched during a massage at Coyote Body Work.
She said she had been a licensed massage therapist for six years and is familiar with massage procedures. She said she dozed off during the massage. When she woke up, she felt Riggs working on her right hip and eventually made his way into her "bikini zone," according to court documents.
The woman eventually rolled over to be face up on the massage table and could feel Riggs making inappropriate movements with his pelvic area near the left side of her face. She told police he touched her breast and vagina, according to court documents. She quickly got off the massage table and got dressed. She said Riggs apologized several times.
Riggs told police in an interview that he has been performing massages for 12 years and has provided an estimated 10,000 massages.
Scottsdale police confronted him about the presence of DNA on the client’s breast and vagina. The police report says he first denied touching her vagina. But when asked again, stated it was “for a brief second” and because he was getting tired. He also confirmed touching her breast, according to the police report.
“Jonathan advised that he had previously lied about touching the victim’s breast, vagina, specifically the labia and the area in between, because he was embarrassed and afraid he would lose his job and his home,” the police report said.
A woman filed a complaint with the licensing board in August 2015 that she went into a Massage Envy for a 90-minute massage with Fayah and he placed his hands over her mouth, held her down on the table and sexually assaulted her.
Licensing board records say an attorney for Fayah, Dwayne Cates, stated that, “the allegations contained in the complaint make no sense and are blatantly untrue.”
The woman later filed a civil lawsuit, alleging that Fayah’s actions amounted to sexual battery and caused her severe emotional distress. The lawsuit alleged Massage Envy Franchising and Maaly Management were negligent for not taking proper precautions to ensure Fayah acted in a professional manner, and for failing to ensure the woman’s safety. An attorney for Fayah argued that he was never properly served notice of the lawsuit.
Attorneys for Massage Envy and the spa argued in court records that “to the extent any sexual contact occurred between plaintiff and Fayah, such sexual contact was consensual.”
Court records show the lawsuit was dismissed in 2018.
Douglas pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted sexual abuse following after two female massage therapy clients went to police in 2016, according to court records.
The first woman alleged that during a massage in January 2016 Douglas moved his hand to her vagina and began to rub it. She said she grabbed his hand and told him she wasn’t into that and to stop. She alleged he then grabbed her hand and placed it on his erect penis over his clothes.
She stated Douglas then apologized and told her she was very beautiful, and she gave him verbal permission to continue with the massage. At the end of the massage she alleged Douglas kissed her on the forehead.
The second complaint came from a woman who alleged Douglas in February 2016 placed his hand on her vagina over the sheet that covered her and started rubbing it. She alleged he then went under the sheet and touched her labia.
Both women said Douglas’ actions resulted in severe emotional distress, anxiety and upset, which led to physical harm and illness.
He was sentenced to 10 years’ probation, starting in February 2017, according to court records.
Kingsley was convicted of two counts of attempted sexual assault. The board ordered that he surrender his license on Jan. 27, 2016.
A man accused Kingsley of fondling him during a massage at the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in October 2012. But the man didn’t want to file criminal charges and the case was closed, according to a January 2016 article in The Republic.
When another man came forward with similar accusations nearly two years later, the case was reopened.
Kingsley spent 361 days in Maricopa County jail before signing an agreement in which he pled guilty to two counts of attempted sexual assault. His attorney Karen Vandergaw argued in court that her client’s nearly yearlong time in jail, previously stable employment and age were factors in considering probation instead of a prison sentence.
"He is a low risk," she said. "Back in the day, he did dance in the Winnipeg ballet and he was a dancer on Broadway. ... I think this shows that Mr. Kingsley can have the dedication to submit to treatment and probation."
He was sentenced to probation for life.
According to meeting notes, Hernandez appeared before the state massage therapy board after a client filed a complaint against him for sexual misconduct and improper draping at a Massage Envy location.
During the massage, the female client reported Hernandez placed his hand on her breast without explanation, which made her uncomfortable. The way he draped her leg made her feel exposed as well. The woman asked that he not work on her chest, but he did so anyway, stating during a hearing with the board that he had forgotten about her request.
Following the incident Hernandez was terminated from the Massage Envy location, but he stated during the hearing he had started work at an Elements Massage. He also said he’d taken classes to improve his draping skills. The board issued a nondisciplinary order for continuing education in massage therapy, which included eight hours of communication education.
Valverde’s massage therapy license was revoked after massage board records say he exposed a woman’s breasts while having her turn onto her back during a massage in March 2018. Valverde worked at an Elements Massage, and it was the first time the woman had received a massage from him.
At the beginning of the massage, he asked the woman to disrobe from the waist up for an upper body massage. The woman alleged in a complaint to the state licensing board that the massage didn’t feel right from the beginning, as if Valverde was rubbing parts of her body rather than working on muscle groups.
After Valverde removed her arms from under the drapings to massage them, the woman alleged he let them fall and rub up against his genitals. He then had her flip over from her back onto her stomach, where he then lifted the drapings, exposing her naked chest as he stood looking at her, according to the complaint.
The woman ended the massage session and reported Valverde to management. Valverde was fired, according to state licensing board records. He denied the allegations in a May 2018 letter to the state massage board.
“I have worked so hard to become a massage therapist and to have it in jeopardy because of this false allegation it just makes me upset,” he wrote to the board.
The board revoked his license in December 2018.
Dawood voluntarily surrendered his massage therapy license in October 2016 after a female client filed a complaint against him the month before for making her feel uncomfortable during a massage at Massage Envy in Tempe.
According to state licensing records, the woman received satisfactory massages from Dawood in the past. But on this occasion, according to the board complaint, the woman said Dawood kissed her hand while massaging her arms and neck. She said he slid his hand under the draping and massaged her stomach and sides. After the session ended, she claims he kissed her on the forehead.
He then asked for the woman’s cell number, stating it was so he could check in on her the next day. After stating she would be fine the next day, Dawood didn’t leave the room. She gave him her phone number so he would leave, allowing her to get dressed.
The woman said she didn’t feel comfortable talking to management that day and instead filed a complaint with the state massage therapy board after talking to her husband.
Dawood wrote to the licensing board that he was voluntarily surrendering his license, but that the allegations were false.
“I have never ever engaged in any behavior that would jeopardize the health or cause any harm to any of my massage clients,” the letter said. “I am a very friendly human being by nature, as I grew up in a different culture.”
A woman alleged to the state licensing board that Villesca sexually assaulted her during a massage at an apartment in April 2018, according to massage board records. He denied the allegations.
The woman said she ordered a couples’ massage through the app Soothe, a mobile massage service that takes place in the clients’ homes. She reported the massage was reasonably normal and that the assault took place near the end.
She alleged he rubbed her bare breasts and pinched and twisted her nipples. Frozen and unable to speak, the woman said she lay still as Villesca moved his mouth close to her ear and whispered sexually explicit things, such as, “Oh yeah, do you like that?”
Villesca then moved his hand to the woman’s abdomen and placed it on her vagina, requesting to touch her there. She told him no. The woman reported the incident to Soothe and Villesca was suspended, according to licensing board records.
Villesca denied the allegations. He told the licensing board he has never conducted himself unprofessionally or behaved inappropriately while giving massages.
“I never touched her vulva or vagina. I never touched her breasts or nipples,” he said. “I never whispered any sexually explicit things.”
The state massage therapy board voted in November 2018 to dismiss the allegations and to issue a nondisciplinary advisory letter, stating Villesca could have had better professional judgment and communication with his client.
The letter stated that under state law, a licensee is prohibited from massaging or touching the breasts of a female client unless the client requests a breast massage and signs a written consent form before the massage session. Written consent is required by state law.
Udvarnoky’s massage therapy license was suspended and he was placed on two years’ probation following a March 2013 complaint from a female client. According to massage board records, the woman had planned to receive a lymphatic massage at Bloom Studios in Gilbert for pain and swelling relief following a liposuction procedure.
The complaint summary states the massage started normally. After 10-15 minutes, the woman said, Udvarnoky began massaging her breasts. She told him not to do that, and to instead work on other areas. He moved on, she said, but came back to massaging her breasts. She said he began kissing her right breast. The woman asked him to stop, and alleges he asked: “What kind of massage are you looking for? What areas do you want worked?”
The woman told Udvarnoky she wanted a lymphatic massage focused on her stomach, arms, back and neck. He then put his hands in between her legs, according to the complaint. The woman sat up and told him they were finished. Udvarnoky left the room.
After she got dressed, she saw Udvarnoky sitting in the hall and asked if she was supposed to pay him, to which she said he responded: “You don’t have to pay me, you don’t owe me anything.”
The woman filed a police report with the Gilbert Police Department, according to the complaint. Udvarnoky responded to the board soon after the complaint, stating the claims were false. He told the board investigator that, “Never did I place my hands or my mouth on her breasts. Nor did I place my hands between her legs.”
In addition to his license being suspended for 90 days, he was ordered to complete 26 hours of continuing education on top of the 24 hours of education required for renewing his license.
A woman reported Angel to the board after she said she was made to feel uncomfortable and exposed during her massage at Mind, Body & Soul in February 2020, according to notes from a September 2020 board meeting.
The woman said it was her first time receiving a massage. She had consented to having areas such as the top of her chest and her glutes massaged, but she wasn’t expecting what happened. While on her back, Angel put an eye mask on her, which Angel stated was a normal practice. She said Angel worked his way down her chest to her breasts, and then cupped her breasts and massaged them in an inappropriate manner. During this time she felt her breasts were partially exposed.
She left after the massage, knowing she had consented to an upper chest massage. But she said she wasn’t sure what was typical of that kind of a massage considering it was her first. After speaking with friends, she called the massage therapy location to talk to the manager about what was standard practice. She also spoke with Angel over the phone and he said he didn’t touch her breasts, and that if he did, it was an accident, according to board records.
The board voted to issue a nondisciplinary order requiring Angel to complete 12 hours of continuing education on massage practices, communication and ethics, and four hours in draping through an online webinar within six months of the order.
According to Massage Board records, Sampson voluntarily surrendered his massage therapy license after being terminated from Hand and Stone due to a complaint from a client in 2019.
The client alleged that Sampson didn’t adhere to proper massage techniques and made an inappropriate comment during the massage. As a result, the client complained to management, and Sampson was fired.
Sampson denied the allegations, according to board records.
A man said he was made uncomfortable by Brown’s massage therapy practices during a two-month stretch of at-home massages in 2014.
According to massage board records, the man reported that he met Brown at a Massage Envy. He also had Brown come to his private residence for massages. The man alleged that during one massage Brown removed his drapings entirely to massage his legs, and he told Brown it made him uncomfortable. Brown apologized and concluded the massage.
During another massage, the man reported Brown showed up with only a bottom sheet for draping but no top sheet. He alleged Brown came too close to his genitals during the massage, and when the man objected, Brown apologized and said not to tell anyone.
During the final massage, the man alleged Brown showed up to his residence for a scheduled massage without drapings nor his massage table. He said Brown told him they could use the man’s bed instead, and that it was common practice to do so in private sessions. During the massage, the man alleged Brown touched his penis. When the man objected, he said Brown threatened him and he left.
In response to the allegations, Brown wrote to the board that the man was a friend and client, and that he was at his home before a social outing rather than a scheduled appointment.
Brown said the man requested a massage because he was in pain and suggested they use his bed since Brown didn’t have his massage table. He said the man wore athletic shorts in lieu of being draped. According to massage board records, the man said he didn’t need to be draped, and Brown told him he should be.
He said he never touched the man’s penis and that shortly after the incident he became uncomfortable with the man’s requests and behavior, noting the man would text and call him. He said the man’s behavior had become inappropriate, and he then ended his personal and professional relationship with him. After Brown resigned from his position with Massage Envy, he said, the man tried to schedule massages with Brown at his new job.
“I believe this false allegation is another attempt to harass me,” he wrote in his response to the board.
The licensing board said Brown failed to maintain professional boundaries and treatment standards with the client and ordered him to complete 35 hours of nondisciplinary in-person continuing education in communication, professional boundaries, ethics and draping within a six-month period.
A female client alleged that Liciu touched her genitals during a massage in September 2013, according to massage board records.
As a result, Liciu’s license was suspended for one year, and he was ordered to complete 20 hours of in-house continuing education in draping, ethics and communication that same year. The suspension was followed by two years’ probation.
Liciu could not be reached for comment on the allegations.
Ryska’s license was revoked after engaging in sexual activity with a female client, according to massage board records. The woman ordered Ryska’s services through Phoenix Mobile Massage, and the massage took place at her home in November 2018. The woman alleged that Ryska touched and penetrated her vagina and placed his mouth on her vagina without consent.
Licensing records say Ryska did not appear at the board hearing and was not represented by counsel at the hearing.
He could not be reached for comment by The Republic on the allegations.
A female client filed a complaint against Fringer, alleging he touched her genitals and other inappropriate areas during a massage in November 2015 at a hotel spa.
According to massage board records, Fringer didn’t provide proper drapings for the massage, leaving the woman’s breasts and buttocks exposed. The woman said Fringer stroked the sides of her breasts multiple times while she was laying on her stomach. She said he also pressed his erect penis into her hand and wrist. The board revoked his license in December 2016.
Licensing board records say Fringer did not appear at the hearing.
He could not be reached for comment on the allegations.
A client ended her membership with Massage Envy following a massage that left her feeling violated, according to massage board records.
The woman said she had been a client of Massage Envy for four years and had experience getting professional massages for more than 15 years. It was her first time seeing Lombardo as a massage therapist in April 2014. She alleged Lombardo didn’t drape her properly, which made her feel exposed.
She alleged that Lombardo spent a lot of time massaging her upper inner thigh, something she hadn’t experienced before in the nearly 100 massages she’s received. During this portion of the massage, she said he touched the edge of her underwear. He then massaged her chest, his hands encircling the top of her breasts, making her uncomfortable.
The woman said she reported the incident to Massage Envy and to the licensing board.
Lombardo told the board he had been a licensed massage therapist for 11 years and that he had never received a complaint of such nature. He said he has always draped clients the same way and has never left anyone exposed.
The board’s order says Lombardo failed to provide draping that ensured comfort and privacy and engaged in substandard care.
Along with his license being suspended, Lombardo was ordered to complete 15 hours of in-house, staff preapproved continuing education in ethics, draping and communication in addition to the 24 hours of education required for license renewal.
The board voted to revoke Garcia’s license on June 15, 2021 after a client of an Elements Massage in Phoenix complained that Garcia had abused her during a massage nine months earlier.
The woman told investigators she had been prone on a massage table and that Garcia had been massaging her left leg, using his left hand to massage her left hip and glute. But then, according to the investigative report, his right hand began working the inside of her thigh. He removed the sheet to expose her buttocks, pulled the back of her underwear down and inserted his right hand between her legs until his fingers were touching her vulva.
According to the report, he then asked her: “Do you want me to go deeper?”
Flustered, the woman said she tried to redirect Garcia to what she really wanted, which was for him to continue to focus on the pain in her leg. But he didn’t, again reaching between her legs, she said. The woman tried to redirect him once more. This time, he “snapped the portion of my underwear that covers my buttocks back into place and reapplied the sheet, stating our time is over,” the woman told investigators.
The licensing board report said Garcia “crossed the line” and “violated” his client, making her feel “uncomfortable and flustered.”
In a response to the board, Garcia denied touching her vulva. He said it was possible she felt pressure on her vulva when he massaged her glutes.
A woman reported Trejo to the state licensing board after she said he committed multiple violations during a massage at LeMonds Spa in September 2020.
According to massage board records, the woman alleged that Trejo massaged her bare buttocks without using a cover sheet. He also massaged her breasts without prior written or oral consent. After massaging her inner thighs, he digitally penetrated her vagina.
The woman reported Trejo to his employer and the licensing board. He was terminated from his position at LeMonds Spa, according to licensing records. In a response to the complaint, Trejo said he wished to resign and surrendered his license.
Lozano’s massage therapy license was revoked following a complaint from a female client stating he engaged in nonconsensual sexual activity with her during a massage in 2015 at A.M.R.I. in Tucson.
According to massage board records, the woman said Lozano used a vibrator during the massage and moved it closer and closer to her labia until it was pressing hard against her. She said he kept coming back to that area and would have one of her legs bent at a time and folded outward to improve access.
At the end of the massage she said Lozano grabbed her outer labia and stroked vigorously. At no point did Lozano address her problem areas such as her neck and back, but instead coerced her into extending the massage by a half an hour, in which he continued massaging her legs, hips and labia area.
In a letter to the massage licensing board, Lozano said he wanted to explain to the board that all the work he does is “specific work to help my clients and techniques based on much research.”
The board said Lozano engaged in sexual activity with a client, suspended his license for two years and required him to take 24 hours of additional continuing education within 12 months.
According to licensing records, as of May 2016, two other women had complained to the business about Lozano for getting too close to their private parts.
In August 2018 the board said Lozano hadn’t completed the additional continuing education, but had been practicing during that time. They moved to revoke his license.
Houseal drew the attention of the state licensing board in 2016, when a client at an Elements Massage in Phoenix complained he exposed her breast and made inappropriate sexual comments during a 2015 massage.
The board put him on probation for a year and ordered him to take 15 hours of continuing-education classes.
According to state massage board records, Houseal appeared before the board for the second time following a complaint from a woman who said he gave her a breast massage without written or oral consent at a Massage Envy location on two separate occasions — one in November 2016 and one in January 2017.
The complaints resulted in Houseal’s license being suspended for six months. He also was assessed a $250 civil penalty.
Houseal told the licensing board he didn’t recall anything about the massages in 2016 and 2017. He said he had been going through personal problems. His roommate was giving him trouble, and he suffered from a recurring skin condition.
“If I was sloppy and did something I shouldn’t have done, then I’m extremely sorry. I assure you it wasn’t on purpose,” he told the board.
According to massage board records, Lopez touched a woman inappropriately during a massage at a Massage Envy location in Tempe. The woman reported that Lopez uncovered and touched her breasts, and placed his mouth on her left nipple. The woman had not consented to a breast massage. She reported Lopez to the manager, stepped outside and filed a report with the Tempe Police Department.
The Republic reported in March 2016 that Lopez was sentenced to 30 days in jail and to 10 years of probation.
His accuser said at the sentencing hearing that he had “impacted every area of my life … my children, my relationship, my career.”
Judge Rosa Mroz said the case concerned her because there was undeniable DNA evidence on the victim’s body, yet Lopez seemed to show no remorse.
In court, Lopez said he had been a licensed massage therapist for 10 years with a great evaluation and high request rate.
The massage board revoked Jean-Pierre’s massage therapy following a complaint filed against him for a massage at a Hand of Stone location.
According to massage board records, the female client said Jean-Pierre engaged in draping techniques that left her feeling exposed. She said after the massage was over he kissed her twice on the mouth.
Board records say Jean-Pierre was not present for the disciplinary hearing. He could not be reached for comment on the allegation by The Republic.
A female massage therapy client filed a complaint against Yeaman following a massage in July 2015 at a hotel spa in Scottsdale, according to massage board records.
The woman alleged Yeaman touched her anus during the massage and massaged very high on her thighs. She stopped the massage after this happened.
Yeaman had appeared before the board in 2013. Massage board records show another woman complained he touched her genitals during a massage in April of that year. He was placed on 60-day suspension followed by one year of probation. He also was ordered to complete 20 hours of preapproved, in-person continuing education in lower extremities draping and ethics.
The massage board revoked his license following the second complaint in March 2016.
Yeaman was unable to be reached for comment on the allegations.
Rogerson surrendered his license following a string of complaints by coworkers in 2019 and 2020, according to state massage board records.
The first complaint came from a woman, “M.M.”, on Oct. 23, 2019. She said Rogerson exposed himself during a training massage, showing her his anus and genitals and saying, “I’m not shy. I don’t use a sheet.” The woman alleged that after Rogerson noticed she was uncomfortable he placed a washcloth over his genitals, but allowed it to move, exposing them again.
She also reported that Rogerson demanded that she be naked during a required massage he was going to give to her on another occasion, and that he refused to cover her with a sheet. He proceeded to fondle her breasts below the pectoral muscles, stating he was giving her a breast exam. M.M. also alleged that on another occasion while Rogerson was massaging her, he reached around and placed his hand over her unclothed vagina.
The next complaint came the following day on Oct. 24, 2019, from another female coworker, “J.L.” The woman alleged that after joining Rogerson’s staff in September 2019, she witnessed him fondling women’s breasts and touching them in other inappropriate areas during training sessions.
J.L. said Rogerson would refuse to wear clothes or be draped during those sessions. He would also continually ask J.L. to massage his glutes, stating she “still needed to train.” This conduct and the lack of improvement in Rogerson’s demeanor led the woman to resign.
The final complaint came on Jan. 7, 2020, by another female coworker, “E.S.” According to board records, the woman said that after joining the staff in September 2019, she had to give Rogerson a massage to show her skills. When she entered the room, Rogerson was naked and without a sheet on top of the table. It made E.S. uncomfortable and she made him cover himself.
E.S. said Rogerson gave her a training massage on one occasion as well. During the massage she said there was a mirror on the wall that allowed Rogerson to see her naked body while she turned over on the bed, and that he would make jokes such as her breasts were “peeking” out at him.
Rogerson denied the allegations and told The Republic the claims were made by three co-workers who wanted him out of the business. He decided because of his age, and the fact that he was on supplemental oxygen, that he wouldn’t fight the allegations.
Rogerson said he cut up his massage therapy license with scissors and sent it back to the licensing board.
“I’m 78 years old,” he said. “I don’t need to do massages.”
Martinez’s license to practice massage therapy was revoked after a regular client filed a complaint against him following an incident in November 2017 at a Massage Envy location.
According to massage board records, the woman had been a client of Martinez’s on multiple occasions. But during the last massage she reported he inserted his fingers into her vagina without consent, causing her pain. She didn’t say anything at first because she thought it might have been a mistake.
Martinez then inserted his fingers into her vagina a second time, and she told him to, “Please stop!” She alleged he stopped momentarily but then did it a third time, causing her pain. She told him to stop again. He then did so a fourth time, and she told him “Enough!” and pushed his hand away. She said she felt as though he was trying to pin her to the table at that point.
The woman reported the incident to the Massage Envy location two days later. She also filed a report with the Phoenix Police Department, though no charges were filed.
Board records say Martinez told his employer that he remembered the client but said nothing unusual happened during the massage.
A female client alleged she was touched inappropriately by DeGrandis during a massage at Massage Envy in Moon Valley.
According to massage board records, the woman said DeGrandis touched and caressed the side of her breasts a number of times. She had received massages from DeGrandis in the past, but none like this. She said he also massaged her lower back and went beneath her underwear. DeGrandis also ventured toward her pelvic and vaginal areas on more than one occasion, she said. At one point she moved her leg away to cut off his access to her upper thighs, and he moved her leg back down to continue massaging.
DeGrandis told the board he had been a massage therapist for 13 years with no complaints, and the client never said she was uncomfortable or offended.
The board ordered DeGrandis to complete 16 hours of continuing education in communication and ethics to be completed within six months of the order.
According to massage board records, a female client alleged that while receiving a massage from Martinez in February 2018 in her home, she fell asleep and awoke to Martinez touching her inappropriately.
Massage board records indicate Martinez denied touching the client inappropriately. He admitted he had taken pills he received from a friend that he thought were vitamins but could have been something else that affected his perception. During the formal interview regarding this case, Martinez had trouble identifying the proper names for common muscle groups.
Martinez’s license was placed on one year of probation following the incident. He was also ordered by the board to undergo a mental-health evaluation with a substance-abuse component within six months of the order, as well as to complete eight hours of continuing education in ethics within that time period.
Martinez could not be reached for comment on the allegations by The Republic.
Phillips’ license was revoked after a female client filed a complaint against him, alleging he became sexual throughout the course of their professional relationship, according to state massage board records.
The woman said Phillips convinced her he liked to have hugs from his customers; that sentiment later became “a kiss from my favorite customer,” she said. The woman said she canceled her membership with Massage Envy in October 2012, where Phillips worked at the time, in order to no longer have contact with Phillips.
She said Phillips would text, email and call her trying to get her to come back for his services. He was able to convince her to become a private client, and he continued massaging her at his home for a lesser fee.
The woman alleged this continued over the course of two years until he made her feel as though it were her fault they had become so close and sexually involved. She said he acted predatorial toward her, and that she doesn’t deny some things were consensual. The woman later told her husband about her relationship with Phillips, but Phillips didn’t stop pursuing her until her husband met him outside his workplace, telling him to stay away from his wife.
Phillips denied the allegations, and failed to mention the time period in which he saw the woman as a client at his home, according to massage board records.
A client identified as “L.S.” alleges she was 40 minutes into a massage at Massage Envy in Prescott when she heard the therapist say, “I think I’m getting excited because I see you getting excited.”
She alleges he digitally penetrated her with his fingers, moving his fingers in and out of her vagina. She told him to stop.
Dellosa told the licensing board in a public meeting that he only gives therapeutic massages and that he has “never steered away from my scope of practice.”
The licensing board in June 2021 suspended his license pending a formal hearing. At the July meeting, the board approved an agreement signed by Dellosa for surrender of his massage therapy license.
The document says Dellosa “neither admits nor denies” the board’s findings and conclusions and acknowledges that if the matter went to a hearing the board could establish by a preponderance of evidence that he engaged in conduct that could be used to order discipline. He agrees “to enter into this consent agreement as an economical and practical means of resolving the case.”
The agreement states he may not apply for reinstatement of his license for one year.
The massage board revoked Taylor’s license after a woman filed a complaint against him following a massage at a Rubs Massage location in Tucson.
According to massage board records, the woman said Taylor asked her to get into the “frog position” during the massage. She said he started working aggressively on her inner groin area and vagina, and that he rubbed his erect penis on her knee. He told the client she needed longer massages and more frequently, and that he could come to her house and they could “barter.”
Taylor could not be reached for comment on the allegations by The Republic.
Morgan was arrested on a charge of sexual abuse by the Scottsdale Police Department after a female client filed a complaint against him for engaging in unwanted sexual activity during a massage at her home in June 2017, according to massage board records. He later pled guilty to one count of disorderly conduct in 2018.
The woman received two previous massages from Morgan at Modern Massage in Scottsdale, according to records.
The woman said Morgan massaged her breasts without prior written consent, and he placed his hand on her vulva and clitoris, moving his fingers in a circular motion several times. She said she told him to stop and he apologized.
She filed a police report. Morgan was arrested on June 30, 2017. He admitted to the allegations and wrote a letter apologizing to the woman, stating he was taking a break from his work to see a counselor.
He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation beginning in November 2018. In 2020, the court ordered him to pay the victim $10,802 in restitution.
Morgan failed to report the arrest to the board at the time of the incident, according to records. He did not appear at his licensing board hearing.
A female client reported Thompson to the massage board after she received a massage from him at Hozho Shiatsu & Massage in Cottonwood.
The woman said she had received massages from Thompson in the past. In April 2013, the woman said Thompson touched and massaged her breasts without her consent. She said she’d noticed her drapings were loose and that her breasts were exposed during previous appointments.
Massage board records say that another client said Thompson exposed and touched her breast during a 2008 massage.
The board concluded the allegations constituted sexual activity, a violation of state law.
The board ordered Thompson to complete 20 hours of staff preapproved continuing education in draping, ethics, boundaries and communication within the one year of probation.
Thompson could not be reached for comment on the allegations.
A female client filed a complaint and a police report against Lozoya following a massage in 2013 at a Massage Envy location, according to massage board records.
The woman said she had received massages from Lozoya in the past, but alleged that during this incident he groped her breasts in a sexual manner. She said this went on for a few moments until he stopped and said, “Oh sorry, I got a little carried away there.” The woman said he then made a comment about how nice her breasts were.
The massage continued, and the woman said Lozoya’s hands migrated below her waist. She said he touched her vagina, she made a noise of protest and pulled away, and he stopped. He apologized but proceeded to touch her vagina again. She told him she wasn’t comfortable with that, and he apologized and continued with the normal massage.
In a response to the allegations, Lozoya said he had to warn the woman about not holding the draping tightly and to stop lowering it down to her waist during the massage.
According to massage board records, a detective from the Tempe Police Department closed the case after coming to the conclusion that he believed Lozoya had been more honest than the complainant had been in her statement. Because there were no witnesses, the detective called it a “he said/she said” situation. The massage board revoked Lozoya’s license in 2014. Board records say he was fired from his job at the Massage Envy spa.
A female client filed a complaint against Ortiz following a massage in December 2017 at an Elements Spa that left her anxious and “in a fog,” according to state massage board records.
She alleged Ortiz massaged the front of her thighs and her inner thigh area without proper draping. Ortiz then moved on to her neck, shoulders and her upper chest. After massaging around her breasts, the woman alleged Ortiz then covered the front of her breasts with his hands and started massaging them. The woman said she felt the sheet was no longer covering her breasts.
The woman alleged she put her hands up and asked Ortiz what he was doing; he apologized, stating he was just giving her a breast massage. He asked if she wanted him to continue. The woman said yes, thinking he meant to continue the normal massage. Instead, she alleged he went back to massaging her breasts before moving on to other parts of her body.
Ortiz responded to the allegations on Jan. 9, 2018, stating that the allegations were false and he wanted to fight for his name.
Ortiz was ordered by the state massage therapy licensing board to complete 16 hours of live, preapproved continuing education in ethics and communication, which was to be completed within 12 months of the order.
A female client alleged Esposito failed to provide adequate draping during a massage at Biogenerist in Tucson, leaving her feeling unnecessarily exposed.
The board ordered Esposito to complete 16 hours of live, preapproved continuing education in ethics, business practices and draping within the six-month probationary period.
The massage board revoked Flory’s license following a string of complaints from four women in 2014, according to massage board records.
A woman identified only by her initials, “A.D.”, alleged Flory touched the tops and sides of her breasts during a massage at a Rubs Massage on March 31.
The second complaint came from a woman, “K.G.”, who said Flory pressed his erect penis against her thigh and brushed his hand against her genitals during a massage on May 24. She said he failed to drape her thighs and buttocks properly, leaving her feeling exposed.
A third woman, “M.V.”, said she felt Flory rub his erect penis against her several times, as well as brush his hand against her genitals over her underwear during a massage on May 26. She said he also manipulated the edges of her underwear during the massage.
The final complaint came from a woman, “T.S.”, who said Flory made groaning and deep breathing noises during her massage in June 2014. She said he touched the sides and tops of her breasts and failed to drape her buttocks properly, leaving her feeling exposed.
Licensing records say Flory did not attend his disciplinary hearing before the board in February 2015
He could not be reached by The Republic for comment on the allegations.
A female client lodged a complaint against Richardson following a massage she received from him at Rubs Massage Studio in January 2020, according to massage board records.
The woman alleged that Richardson undraped her during her massage, leaving her breasts and underwear exposed. She said he then slipped his hands into her underwear and began massaging her pubic and vaginal area before aggressively massaging her breasts. She said she had not been given a consent form to sign before, during or after the massage.
According to records, Richardson denied the allegations but said he did not receive written consent to massage her breasts because he was unaware that was required by law. He admitted to undraping the client.
In addition to license suspension, Richardson was ordered by the board to complete 12 hours of preapproved continuing education in ethics and proper draping procedures, as well as a $500 civil penalty to be paid within 12 months.
According to massage board meeting notes, a female client lodged a complaint against Salgado following a massage in 2019 at a Desert Healing Massage Spa location.
The client alleged that Salgado began with a deep tissue massage and left several bruises on her body. She also alleged he placed a blindfold over her eyes and rubbed her breasts.
She said Salgado groaned and made other noises during the massage.
The massage board ordered Salgado to complete eight hours of in-person, preapproved continuing education in business practices with communication.
He told The Republic he supports victims of sexual misconduct coming forward, but in his case, he said the allegations are untrue. It’s unfortunate that some male therapists are targeted, he said.
“To accuse someone of something that isn’t true is very devastating,” he said.
As for bruising allegation, he said people’s bodies respond in different ways to the modality of massage therapy that is used.
A female client said Calmese provided her with a breast massage without prior oral or written consent in May 2019 at Envision Health Spa.
Calmese’s license was suspended for one year. The board ordered him to complete 24 hours of preapproved continuing education in communication, business practices, ethics and draping within that time period. He was also ordered to pay a civil penalty of $250.
The licensing board’s investigator reported at the June 2021 meeting that Calmese had not complied with the continuing-education requirements and had been advertising for massages while his license was suspended.
The board voted to take the case to formal hearing in August 2021 and voted to revoke his license after they said Calmese did not take the continuing education he was ordered to complete. He also continued to advertise his massage services while being suspended, the board said.
Calmese did not respond to the board’s allegations in writing.
He could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
A female client said that Adams touched her genitals during a massage in October 2015, resulting in her seeking counseling with a licensed clinical therapist, according to board records.
Adams surrendered his license Feb. 28, 2017.
He could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
A male client alleged that while receiving a massage from Reader at NAMTI Spa in Sedona in September 2018, his unclothed genitalia was exposed due to improper draping techniques, according to massage board records.
The board moved to place Reader’s license on probation for one year. He was ordered to complete 16 hours of preapproved continuing education in communication, ethics and business practices.
Reader could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
Chau’s license was revoked after a female client said he touched and massaged her breasts and genitals at Intricate Touch, according to massage board records.
The woman gave verbal consent to a breast massage but had not signed a written consent, according to the records. She said that during the massage Chau discussed a sexual fantasy of his and asked the woman if she’d be willing to participate. She told him no.
Chau could not be reached for comment on the allegations by The Republic.
A female massage therapy client said that during a massage with Anthony, he began by massaging her uncovered breasts, according to massage board records. The incident took place in June 2016 at a Relax and Restore Massage location.
The woman said that later in the massage, Anthony rubbed her inner thigh area and then moved her underwear aside to place his fingers between her labia. The woman then told him, “That was way too much.”
After the massage ended, the woman said Anthony told her the massage was “on the house.”
She filed a complaint with the Mesa Police Department, though no charges were filed.
Anthony stated in an interview with police that he did not drape the woman properly, and he admitted to touching her exposed breasts, but said he didn’t have any sexual intent. He said that he “apologizes for making her feel uncomfortable” and that he got “mixed signals and he was misunderstood and got confused.”
The state massage therapy licensing board met in March 2017 and voted to revoke Anthony’s license to practice massage therapy.
The massage board revoked Berk’s license following complaints from two female clients who received massages at a Massage Envy location.
According to massage board records, the first woman said Berk massaged her breasts under the drape and pinched her nipples without oral or written consent in July 2018.
The second complaint came a month later from a woman who said Berk undraped her during the massage and massaged her breasts. She said he touched her genitals while massaging under the drapes as well.
The board revoked his license in December 2018.
Berk did not appear before the licensing board when it revoked his license. But in court documents for a civil lawsuit later filed by the women, he denied their allegations.
The massage board revoked Tolton’s license in May 2018 following complaints from two female massage therapy clients in 2017, according to massage board records. Both incidents took place at AFC Physical Medicine.
The first complaint came from a client, “J.E.”, who alleged Tolton massaged her breasts without prior written consent and against her wishes in October 2017. The woman said he also massaged on or near her anus, which made her uncomfortable.
The second complaint came from a female client, “M.O.”, in December 2017, who received a massage from Tolton at the same location. The woman said Tolton massaged her breasts without prior written consent. She said he called her beautiful and said he wanted to kiss her.
The woman alleged Tolton would position himself so her hands would brush up against his clothed groin area, and that he would bring his face uncomfortably close to hers and make heavy breathing noises.
Tolton appeared before the licensing board in April 2018 and said the complaint by JW upset him deeply. He said he works hard to help people and takes his job seriously. “I take my professionalism and code of ethics very seriously,” he said.
Tolton responded to M.O.’s complaint, denying that his groin was close to her body and saying she never said she was uncomfortable during the massage.
“If she told me she was uncomfortable I would have stopped the massage,” he said.
He described the technique as a pectoral massage, not a breast massage. He denied saying he wanted to kiss her and said the “beautiful” comment was made in reference to her talking about her hair color and how she was unhappy with it. He offered to fix her hair and said he could “make it beautiful” because he also provides hair services.
Tolton said he was terminated by his employer after M.O.’s complaint.
He could not be reached for comment by The Arizona Republic.
A female client filed a complaint against Martinez after receiving a massage from him at a Massage Envy location in 2014, according to massage board records.
The woman said she received massages from Martinez on a regular basis. But during a massage in July 2014, the woman said, Martinez undraped her front side, exposing her breasts. He then asked her about her nipple piercing. The massage continued, and the woman alleged Martinez started going lower, and she froze. She said he began to finger her, and she noticed he started moving his head closer to her genital area. The woman said she then “snapped out of it,” sat up and told him “No.”
The woman reported Martinez to the board in 2020. By that point he didn’t work at the Massage Envy location. When asked why she waited so long to report the incident, she said she was frozen at the time and didn’t know what to do. She said she didn’t tell her husband until they had moved from Arizona following the incident.
Martinez denied all allegations. He told the board he did not recall the massage session.
The massage board voted unanimously in 2021 to issue Martinez a nondisciplinary advisory letter on the basis of committing an act of malpractice, gross negligence or incompetency, engaging in conduct that could result in harm or injury to the public and potential sexual misconduct with a client.
Amaya surrendered his license to the state massage board following a complaint from a female client who received a massage from him at a Massage Envy location in 2015.
The woman alleged that Amaya groped her breasts at the beginning of the massage. She said he then told her to roll over on her back. While on her back she said she felt something rub against her arm, and when she looked, Amaya had his erect penis out, telling her to put it in her mouth. She said, “Are you (expletive) kidding me right now?” and told him to leave the room.
The woman said Amaya started to walk away but stopped at her legs, put his hands under the sheet and inserted his fingers into her vagina. She said he then jumped on the bed and she told him he needed to leave, and that he then inserted his penis into her vagina. She alleged he told her not to tell his boss.
According to massage board records, Amaya admitted to having sexual contact with the client, but said that it was consensual. He said the woman told him she wanted him to have sex with her.
The client reported Amaya to management of the Massage Envy and filed a police report, but no charges were filed. He surrendered his license in May 2015.
A male client filed a complaint against Cisneros after he said Cisneros’ demeanor had become sexual in nature throughout the course of their professional relationship, according to massage board records.
The client said that after a two-hour massage session at a Massage Envy location, Cisneros started to rub an essential oil on the client’s neck near his Adam’s apple without permission. The man alleged Cisneros asked if he could rub the oil on his perineum, the area between the anus and scrotum, and then touched his penis. Cisneros proceeded to ask the client if he could rub the oil on his penis, to which the client answered: “No.”
Cisneros ended the massage, and the client alleged that Cisneros apologized for his actions and asked him to come back, saying he had crossed a line. Massage Envy later fired him from his position.
Cisneros did not appear at the licensing board hearing, according to board records.
He could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
According to massage board meeting notes from June 28, a female massage therapist filed a complaint against Heward following a massage “trade,” where two therapists exchange massages.
The complainant alleged that during the second half of their two-hour session, Heward went under the drapes and massaged her chest and down her body.
Heward denied the allegations and stated that in all his years as a practicing massage therapist he hasn’t received a complaint.
“I gave a professional massage. I did nothing inappropriate,” he told the board.
The board issued Heward a nondisciplinary advisory letter on the basis of his inability to maintain professionalism in massage therapy, including trades with other massage therapists.
Espuma surrendered his license to the state massage board following a complaint from a female client who received a massage in January 2021 at MassageLuXe, according to massage board records.
The woman said Espuma massaged her upper-inner thigh and inserted his fingers into her vagina. He then moved to her thighs but returned to rubbing her vagina for 30 seconds to a minute. The woman said she was in shock during the incident. Afterward, she left without talking to anyone.
The client reported Espuma to the owners of MassageLuXe and filed a report with the Chandler Police Department the next day but no charges were filed. Espuma was terminated from his position at MassageLuXe, according to board records.
A female massage therapist reported Escobedo to the state licensing board following a massage trade in 2020 at her private residence, according to meeting minutes from a February 2021 massage therapy board meeting.
The woman alleged that during the massage, she fell asleep and woke up startled after feeling skin-to-skin contact on her breasts. She reported Escobedo to their boss and he was terminated from his position, according to board records. He denied the allegations.
The board moved to offer Escobedo a nondisciplinary consent agreement for a letter of concern. He was ordered to complete at least eight hours of preapproved continuing education in communication and ethics within six months of the order.
A complaint was filed against Farino by a female client following a Lomi Lomi massage in 2019, according to massage board records. A Lomi Lomi massage is a traditional Hawaiian massage that involves full body massage, oils, dance and breathing techniques.
The woman told the licensing board in a public hearing that the therapist rubbed her vulva, inserted his finger into her vagina and asked her, “Does that feel good?” She said she ordered him to stop.
Farino denied the allegations.
“These allegations have been detrimental to my life and to all I hold dear. They are false,” he told the board.
Joey Hamby, an attorney for Farino, questioned why the woman tipped the therapist and waited several days before reporting the incident to the licensing board and to police.
David Shapiro, the woman’s attorney, told the board there is “no instruction manual” on how a woman should respond. She was scared and frightened. That’s why she left quickly and tipped, he said.
“There’s no motive other than she’s here to tell the truth,” he said.
Farino was ordered by the state massage therapist board to complete 16 hours of live, preapproved continuing education in draping, ethics and client communication.
A female client alleged Salas-Felix touched her genitals during a massage in 2017 at a Massage Envy location, according to massage board records.
After touching her inappropriately, the woman said she told him to stop and instructed him to work on her neck and shoulders. He then touched her breasts in an inappropriate manner without prior consent.
The woman reported the incident to the Glendale Police Department following the massage. No charges were filed.
Salas-Felix denied the allegations. He said he was fired from the job.
His license to practice massage therapy was suspended for six months, followed by one year of probation. The board also ordered him to complete 20 hours of preapproved, in-person continuing education in communication, ethics and business practices within the probationary and suspension period.
The board revoked Wouters’ license to practice massage therapy following two complaints from female clients, one in 2012 and the other in 2013, according to massage board records.
Both incidents took place at Arizona Center for Family & Wellness Care.
The first woman, “B.C.”, said Wouters massaged very high on her inner thigh during a massage in July 2013. She said he grazed her vagina multiple times with his hand. While on her back, she said he started massaging her stomach area and then went up, under and around her breasts. She asked him to stop on more than one occasion.
The woman filed a complaint with the massage board against Wouters a month later, and she filed a police report with the Glendale Police Department, but no charges were filed.
The second woman, “E.B.”, filed a complaint against Wouters in September 2013 following an incident that took place in November 2012. According to massage board records, she decided to come forward after hearing Wouters had been inappropriate with another client.
“E.B.” alleged that Wouters ignored the areas she asked to be worked on and started the massage by working on her back and side, working his way down her body. She said he asked: “Did you miss me?” She didn’t respond.
The woman said she felt Wouters was massaging her pelvic floor bones in a way that left her vagina exposed. She said he massaged her butt with both hands and that she felt her anus and vagina were repeatedly exposed. She said he then started massaging high on her inner thigh. During the massage she said he continued to expose her naked body more and more, and by the end only her lower right leg had been covered by a sheet.
“E.B.” said that Wouters cupped her breasts and massaged in between them as well. After his elbow rubbed over her pubic hair, she said she told him the session was almost over and that he hadn’t addressed her problem areas such as her head and neck.
Wouters denied all allegations and stated both massages were professional in nature. He later asked for a rehearing but the board denied it as the request wasn’t received in a timely manner.
Wouters’ request for a rehearing says he did not commit the acts he was accused of and was not given sufficient time to respond to the allegations.
A female client, “A.M.”, alleged that during a massage session with Niles at a Massage Envy in August 2017, he massaged her breasts without prior written consent. She said he also engaged in improper draping techniques, leaving her feeling unnecessarily exposed.
A second complaint came from a woman, “L.S.”, in the same month. She said Niles massaged her breasts without prior written consent.
According to massage board records, L.S. said Niles also climbed on top of the massage table and pressed his clothed genitals against her body, including her buttocks.
Niles was terminated by Massage Envy, according to board minutes, and the board voted to revoke Niles’ License. He was also ordered to reimburse both clients the massages.
Board records say Niles did not attend his disciplinary hearing and was not represented by an attorney at the hearing. He could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
According to court records, a female client alleged that Vega removed the linens used to cover her during a massage at a Massage Envy location. She alleged Vega touched and digitally penetrated her vagina during the December 2015 massage.
Vega denied the allegations to his employers and investigators.
Police investigated the allegations, and an Avondale Police Department report says that in November 2017 the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office declined prosecution because there was “no likelihood of conviction.”
Board records show his license to practice massage therapy expired in September 2016. A civil lawsuit filed in 2017 against Massage Envy franchising, the spa and the therapist was ongoing in Maricopa County Superior Court.
West surrendered his license to the board following allegations from two female clients in a time period stretching from 2009 to 2014, according to massage board records.
The first complaint came from a woman, “A.H”, who said West made sexual contact with her during a massage in December 2009.
The second came from, “T.M.”, who said West made sexual contact with her during massages that occurred from 2009 to the spring of 2014. West surrendered his license in July 2016. In signing the agreement, West neither admitted nor denied the board’s findings but acknowledged that if the case proceeded to a disciplinary hearing that evidence would be presented that could subject him to discipline under state law. Therefore, he “agreed to enter into this consent agreement as an economical and practical means of resolving this case.”
West could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
The state massage board voted unanimously to accept the consent agreement for the surrender of Klein’s license to practice massage therapy following allegations that he advertised sexual massages on several websites in 2013, according to massage board records.
Klein could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
A woman filed a complaint with the massage board after she said Dominguez stroked her labia with his fingers during a massage at Massage Envy-Glendale in November 2018, according to a police report and state licensing records.
Dominguez didn’t have any prior complaints at the time. But during the board’s investigation in 2019, it was discovered he had been the subject of a police investigation while a student at Arizona College in 2016. He also had a civil lawsuit filed against him, alleging sexual assault while giving a woman a massage in 2017.
Two classmates complained about inappropriate behavior during a massage in the school’s training lab in 2016. One student refused to talk to police, saying she was afraid. The second student said Dominguez pulled the sheet back, exposing her buttocks. She also claimed he massaged her breasts and nipples. Dominguez denied the allegations. Neither classmate wanted to prosecute. Glendale police didn’t pursue charges.
Dominguez got his Arizona massage license in April 2017 while working that same month at City Health Services in Phoenix, according to state licensing and court records.
A woman seeking treatment on her neck and upper back saw Dominguez on April 7, 2017. During the massage, he “sexually assaulted the Plaintiff on several occasions,” according to a civil lawsuit filed in December 2017. Court records indicate a settlement was reached in the lawsuit in December 2018.
Dominguez denied allegations when he appeared before the board for his licensing hearing in 2019. In a letter to the board, his attorney, Michelle Villaneuva-Skura, wrote that her client denied any wrongdoing.
“Our office maintains that Mr. Dominguez has done nothing wrong and that the accusations are baseless. Mr. Dominguez takes every precaution necessary to ensure that he is following the guidelines in order to create a safe environment for every client,” she wrote.
The board revoked his license at the hearing.
Torres was terminated from his position at Spa Niva and the massage board revoked his license after a female client filed a complaint against him in 2013, according to massage board records.
The woman alleged Torres touched her genitals and offered to perform oral sex on her during the massage. She said Torres rubbed on her clitoris and then inserted his fingers into her vagina. She told him “no'' several times. He continued to ask to perform oral sex on the woman, and she told him “no” again. After the massage, she reported Torres to the spa’s management.
Licensing records say that Torres admitted to rubbing her clitoris and inserting his fingers into the woman’s vagina and the client told him, “‘that was exciting.’ I ended the massage and we smiled at each other and that was it,” he said in a written statement to the spa.
Torres could not be reached by The Republic for comment on the allegations.
A female client alleged that during massages from Boyle in April and May 2017 at a Massage Envy, he pressed his clothed, erect penis against her body, according to massage board records.
The woman reported Boyle to the Massage Envy location in 2018, as well as to local law enforcement, but no charges were filed. Boyle told the board he had a debilitating medical condition at the time that made it hard for him to perform massage therapy services. He said he wore a lotion bottle on a holster around his waist and that was likely what the woman felt, and he denied the allegations.
During the six-month probationary period, the board ordered Boyle to complete 16 hours of continuing education in ethics, business practices and communication. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the client for the massage she received.
A female client reported Jamison to the state massage board following a massage at his clinic, Jamison Therapeutic Solutions, in August 2017, according to massage board records.
The woman alleged that she went to Jamison for headache relief. She was told she could stay fully clothed during a massage for her head and neck. But during the massage, Jamison requested or suggested she take off her top or sports bra so he would have better access to the sides of her breasts.
She alleged he massaged near her breasts, which caused her discomfort. She told him she had a lump in her breast that she had planned to seek medical treatment for, and Jamison told her he believed it to be a muscle spasm instead. He continued to massage the area, causing her pain and emotional discomfort. She said she told him it was painful, and he responded: “That’s what they all say.”
Following the massage, the woman said she felt substantial pain on her right breast that continued for several days. After seeking medical treatment at the end of August, she said she was made aware the massage from Jamison had damaged her breast implant.
The board voted to give Jamison one year probation and complete 16 hours of live, preapproved continuing education in ethics and communications but dismissed the allegation of sexual conduct.
In a statement sent to The Republic, Jamison said the board concluded that, “I was innocent of all intent to engage in, nor had I in fact engaged in any sexual misconduct. Subsequently, on March 7, 2018, the Board did instruct me to complete 16 hours of continuing education. I completed that training and my license is active and current, with no further complaints against me.”
Grandy appeared before the state massage therapy board after a client filed a complaint against him following allegations of sexual assault and improper draping, according to board meeting notes.
The board moved to issue Grandy a nondisciplinary advisory letter and ordered him to complete eight hours of continuing education in draping and communication.
Grandy did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations by The Republic.
A female client filed a complaint against Jones related to three massages at Sabino Recovery, according to massage board records.
The woman said Jones used inappropriate, sexually related language and placed his penis on her hand through his clothing. She said Jones wondered what they would do if there were bondage items in the boxes in relation to a conversation about online shopping. She stated she had been in fear and shock on each occasion, after filing a complaint to the massage board.
Jones denied the allegations, but added he could have communicated more clearly with the client.
The board ordered Jones to complete 16 hours of continuing education in ethics, PTSD and business practices within six months of the order.
A female client alleged that Harris engaged in unprofessional practices, sexual contact, improper touching and used inappropriate conversation with her during massages in June, July and November of 2018 at Elements-Moon Valley Spa.
The massage board suspended Harris’ license to practice massage therapy for six months in 2019. He was ordered to complete 16 hours of continuing education in business practices and ethics within the six-month period. He was also ordered to pay a civil fine of $500.
Harris could not be reached for comment by The Republic.
The massage board ordered Salas to take 16 hours of continuing education courses on business ethics and communications after he admitted to having sex with a client during two massage therapy sesssions.
According to board minutes from February 27, 2017, the client’s husband filed a complaint against Salas after finding out what had gone on between Salas and his wife.
The woman, who was only identified by her initials, told the board her first massage on June 26, 2016, was professional. But the second on July 10 resulted in oral sex.
The woman said she had known Salas for a year before those sessions. They had met at a candle party where Salas was doing massages and she had taken one of his coupons. Board minutes show that her husband found out about their tryst when they were on vacation.
Salas, however, told a slightly different story. He said he had oral sex with the woman during both sessions. He said both sessions were always about the sex and not about the therapy.
On hearing that, board member Diane Pruetz noted that “Mr. Salas just admitted that he is a massage therapist and he had sex in his massage room.”
Board member Earl Duskey immediately followed up on that comment by asking Salas whether he understood that being a massage therapist meant always being a massage therapist.
“Your integrity follows you,” Duskey said. “You’re not just bringing her into the room, you’re bringing the energy of her husband there.”
Board member Victoria Bowmann reminded Salas that massage therapists “have to hold ourselves to ethics, morals and standards.”
The board then voted to require him to complete 16 hours of ethics and communication training.
A female client reported Cartes to the state licensing board following a massage in December 2019 at the Massage Envy-Carefree location in Scottsdale, according to massage board records.
The woman said that Cartes massaged her upper breast and pectoral area without prior written or oral consent. She said Cartes also placed his hands on her pubic area, leaned over and kissed her multiple times, including on the lips.
She said Cartes then massaged her inner thigh very close to her vaginal area, while telling her how beautiful her body was. She said was unable to move out of fear. The woman’s husband filed a complaint with Massage Envy. She filed a report with Scottsdale police but no criminal charges were filed.
Cartes denied the allegations. He said the woman kissed him, not the other way around.
The board ordered Cartes to complete 20 hours of preapproved continuing education in ethics and communication, which was to be completed within his six-month suspension period. He was also required to pay a civil penalty of $250.
The board revoked Castro’s license following more than one complaint from female clients. The first ended with him being put on probation, according to massage board records.
The complaint came from a woman, “C.N.”, who alleged Castro massaged her breasts in March 2018 at Xanadu Salon and Spa in Tucson without prior written or oral consent. She said Castro failed to drape her properly, and that he pulled her hair to move her on the massage table. She said he also spread her legs, causing her fear and discomfort.
While on probation, Castro was ordered to complete 16 hours of continuing education in communication, ethics and proper draping techniques.
Just a week after being placed on probation in October 2018, Castro provided massage services to another client, “N.K.”
During the massage, N.K. said that Castro placed his hands under her underwear and massaged her bare buttocks. The massage caused her pain, and Castro told her she could scream out if she wanted. The woman alleged Castro pulled her hair during the massage and asked if she had a boyfriend.
The board revoked Castro’s license in February 2019. Castro later submitted a request to review the board’s decision. He told the board he wanted to continue to be a massage therapist and that he had learned a lot from his past mistakes. The board denied his request for a review.
On June 14, 2017, the board received a complaint from a woman identified only by her initials, “D.A.”, alleging that Farvardin engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with her while providing a massage two days earlier.
During its investigation, the board learned that another woman had made a similar complaint to law enforcement in March 2016.
In light of the seriousness of the charges, Farvardin agreed to surrender his license until such a time that the board deemed it could be reinstated.
In October of 2017, a grand jury charged Farvardin with two counts of sexual abuse, a class 5 felony. He pleaded guilty to two counts of attempt to commit sexual abuse in February of the following year and was sentenced to probation.
A female client alleged that Centner kissed her without her consent during a massage at the Downtown Salon Phoenix. Centner admitted to kissing her in a written statement to the massage therapy board.
He surrendered his license in August 2018.
The massage board revoked Hall’s license following a complaint from a female client in 2017, according to massage board records. He had appeared before the board for a previous complaint in 2013, resulting in his license being suspended for 90 days.
The first complaint came from a woman who alleged Hall touched her breasts and exposed her breasts and genitals during a June 2013 massage. The woman had not consented to a breast massage.
Besides suspending his license for 90 days, the board ordered Hall to complete 20 hours of continuing education in draping, professional conduct and ethics.
The second complaint came from a female client who said Hall massaged her breasts without prior written consent during a September 2017 massage. She said Hall uncovered and touched her bare vulva and told her she was physically attractive. The board revoked Hall’s license in March 2018.
Hall did not respond to a request for comment by The Republic.
The state massage board received two complaints against Lopez on Aug. 13, 2020 from two female clients who received massages at a Rubs Massage Studio location.
The first complaint came from a woman who said Lopez spent the majority of the massage on her buttocks, going under the sheet and grabbing her bare flesh. She indicated Lopez pulled her underwear down below her buttocks and shook her back and forth.
She stated that Lopez massaged very close to her vulva, and at one point she could feel Lopez’s erect penis press against her arm.
At one point she felt her nipple was exposed, and at another time in the massage Lopez tipped her up on her side, exposing her buttocks and underwear.
The second complaint came from another female client on the same day, according to massage board records. She said she was not covered properly during the massage, and her breasts became exposed. She told Lopez she wanted him to focus on her neck, shoulders and back, but he began massaging her buttocks. The woman said he massaged her buttocks with his bare hands under her underwear.
While moving up to her head and shoulders, the woman alleged, Lopez began to grab her by the throat and pull her hair while running his hands up and down her body. She felt Lopez was pressing his penis against her hand and leg.
The licensing board heard the complaint in February 2021.
Robert Dilk, an attorney for the therapist, said: “We vehemently deny these allegations.”
Lopez told the board that, “these were very normal massages,” and denied spending most of the time massaging the buttocks of both women.
“I’ve been doing this 11 years,” he said. “It’s very easy for me to follow directions. If someone tells me to work an area, I will work the area.”
Along with the suspension and probation, Lopez was ordered to complete 16 hours of preapproved continuing education in ethics, communication and business practices within six months of the order given on March 2, 2021.
The board received a complaint in September 2020 from a female client who alleged Wali committed several violations while she received a massage at Massage Green Spa.
The woman said she felt her underwear had been exposed during part of the massage. While working her upper and inner thighs, she said Wali grazed her outer labia and pubic hair. She also felt his finger or thumb very close to her anus.
While lying there frozen, the woman said Wali slid his hand under her underwear and ran it across her pubic bone while touching her pubic hair. This caused her underwear to shift, exposing her vagina. She said he continually asked her if she’d like him to go deeper.
The woman said she asked Wali to stop on more than one occasion, as he was hurting her. The second time, she asked if they had gone over their session time, in which he indicated that they had. She ended the session and shortly after reported Wali to his employer, the state massage board and the Glendale Police Department.
Wali surrendered his license to the board in April 2021. Records show he did not participate in the meeting when the licensing board discussed his case.
Blankenship appeared before the board following a complaint from a client who said he engaged in improper draping and inappropriate treatment during a massage, according to massage board records.
The board moved to issue a nondisciplinary order for continuing education. Blankenship was ordered to complete eight hours of live, preapproved continuing education in communication, to be completed within four months of the order.
A female client alleged that Wang massaged her breasts without prior written consent during a massage at an HR Foot Massage location in July 2017, according to massage board records. The client was presented with, and signed, a consent form following the massage. She told the board in her complaint that she felt angry, sad and violated and spent the night crying.
The licensing board placed Wang on suspension for one year in 2018, followed by one year of probation. He was also ordered to complete 20 hours of continuing education in ethics and communication.
Wang denied the allegations, according to licensing board records. He told the board investigator he did not touch her breast. He said the woman signed the waiver after the massage was over. He refunded her fee and tip.