A man who's worked as a massage therapist since 1993 has been charged with sexual assault.
Surrey RCMP was notified on Nov. 14, that a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a massage therapist during the course of her treatment at a clinic located in the 13700-block 96 Avenue in Surrey.
Over a week later, on Nov. 25, a man who goes by the name Bodhi was arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault. Police say his full name is Gudbjartur Bodhi Haraldsson and he is 50 years old.
Haraldsson has been released on conditions. Police say he’s not to provide any personal or professional therapeutic services, including any form of massage therapy and body treatment, to any person who identifies as a woman.
"Police are releasing a photograph of Bodhi Haraldsson to further the ongoing investigation,” says Cpl. Vanessa Munn with Surrey RCMP.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 and request to speak with the Special Victim’s Unit.
A man named Bodhi Haraldsson is listed as a registered massage therapist on the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC) website; he's practiced for almost two decades in B.C. and one decade in Ontario.
Haraldsson is listed as working at PainPro’s Surrey Memorial location, which matches the address where police say the alleged incident took place.
Bodhi Haraldsson’s bio on the website states he has “served the massage therapy profession in his roles on regulatory board associations and for 14 years he developed and oversaw the RMTBC (Registered Massage Therapists Association of BC) research department.”
The college does have a section of its website dedicated to public complaints, including disciplinary actions being taken.
CMTBC is the regulator of RMTs.
Eric Wredenhagen, the CEO and registrar, says one of the college’s roles is to receive and investigate public complaints of RMT misconduct, and to take appropriate action, up to and including a public disciplinary hearing.
“CMTBC is strongly committed to ensuring the public’s right to receive massage therapy treatment that is safe, ethical and effective,” says Wredenhagen.
Any member of the public who is concerned about an RMT’s conduct may file a complaint with CMTBC online and fill out the complaints form under the “Public Complaints” tab. He adds the college can also be reached by email at [email protected].
Glacier Media has reached out to RMTBC for comment.
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, help is available.
- In an emergency, call 9-1-1
- In a crisis, call 1-800-563-0808
- To report a person under 19 who needs protection to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, call 310-1234 (no area code required)
You can find a full list of resources on the B.C. government’s website.