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College of Massage Therapists of Ontario investigating Windsor therapist

As of September 2017, registered massage therapists now require clients to sign a written consent form. Clients can withdraw or alter their consent at any time, according to the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.

Written consent required before massaging sensitive areas

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario say they have taken precautions for both therapists and clients by requiring clients to sign consent forms.

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario is investigating a Windsor massage therapist who allegedly sexually assaulted a client in Windsor.

Windsor police charged the 46-year-old massage therapist with sexual assault on Dec. 29.

The college introduced a new set of regulations called the Standards of Practice for Maintaining Professional Boundaries and Preventing Sexual Abuse were established in September 2017.

They are meant to improve client safety, "which aims to eradicate sexual abuse by health professionals, and in order to improve the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario enforcement abilities in the event of sexual abuse," the college said in a statement.

The standards also work alongside the Protecting Patients Act, 2017, according to the college, which automatically revokes the registered massage therapist registration, "where touching of a sexual nature of the breasts, buttocks, anus or genitals has occurred."

Although some massage therapy can include appropriate touching in the buttocks, breast or areas near the genitals, the college wants to ensure a professional standard when treating those areas.

Consent form now needed

Registered massage therapists now require clients to sign a written consent form — clients can withdraw or alter their consent at any time, said the college.

It also stated if any client feels they have been touched inappropriately or in an area they did not give consent to the client should contact the college.

"College of Massage Therapists of Ontario has zero tolerance for sexual abuse in the Massage Therapy profession, and the new Standards reflect this," the college wrote in a statement. "We also believe in the importance of Massage Therapy clients clearly consenting to have their sensitive areas treated."

According to their website, the college is also investigating another 2018 sexual assault charge against a male masseuse in Brampton, Ont.

There were five Ontario investigations lat year, according to the college website, all of the accused massage therapists were male.