New Brunswick

Late Fredericton massage therapist took secret videos of patients, college says

Pierre Wust, who died in January, took secret videos of his massage therapy clients, according to the college that regulates the profession. Wust practised until the end of 2017.

Pierre Wust practised as a massage therapist until the end of 2017, according to his obituary

Pierre Wust, who died in January, made secret video recordings of his massage therapy clients, according to the college that regulates the profession. (McAdam's Funeral Home)

A Fredericton massage therapist made secret video recordings of his patients before his death in January, according to the college that oversees the profession in the province.

Pierre Wust worked at Myoflex Massage and Rejuvenation Clinic in Fredericton until the end of 2017, when he had to stop practising because of his health, an obituary says. He died from complications from multiple sclerosis on Jan. 10 at age 58.

Attempts to reach the owner of Myoflex were unsuccessful late on Thursday afternoon.

The executor of Wust's will discovered the recordings among his possessions after his death and called police, according to the College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick.

It's not clear how long Wust was surreptitiously recording his patients or how many people were captured on the recordings.

"The college has not seen any of the material," college registrar Charline McLean said in an interview.

The college found out about the recordings in February, after being contacted by one of Wust's former patients, McLean said, but it didn't tell the public about the voyeurism until Thursday.

The College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick says it found no evidence the recordings were shared with anyone. (Robert Short/CBC)

When asked why the college didn't tell the public about the recordings sooner, McLean said it didn't want to "hinder" the police investigation.

"Mr. Wust has passed away so we didn't feel there was an immediate, I guess, threat to the public," McLean said.

A spokesperson for the Fredericton Police Force confirmed police are investigating "a complaint of voyeurism against a deceased individual" but would not confirm his name.

"We are confident that there is no further risk to the public and are currently in the process of contacting any potential victims," spokesperson Alycia Bartlett said.

College hired private investigator

After learning about the recordings, the college hired its own investigator.

"Based on our investigation, we concluded that there were no other current or former massage therapists that were involved or aware of [the recordings], but the investigation with the Fredericton Police Force is still ongoing," McLean said.

The college investigation also found "no evidence" to suggest the recordings were shared, posted online or given to anyone else.

The Fredericton Police Force recently added a second investigator to work full time to try to identify and contact the people who appear on the recordings, McLean said.

Wust's obituary says he "played a major role in the development and recognition of the massage therapy profession."

It's a career Wust came to late in life, after a job with the Research and Productivity Council in Fredericton. He was born in Strasbourg, France.

McLean encouraged anyone with concerns or complaints about a massage therapist to contact the college, which has a mandate to protect the public.

"Our hopes are that one past member's actions doesn't cast a shadow on the profession as a whole," she said.

About the Author

Karissa Donkin is a journalist in CBC's Atlantic investigative unit. Do you have a story you want us to investigate? Send your tips to NBInvestigates@CBC.ca.