A former B.C. massage therapist found to have sexually touched numerous patients without their consent has been handed a 15-year ban and $65,000 in fines and costs.
A B.C. College of Massage Therapists disciplinary panel released their penalty decision for Steven Anderson on Oct. 20, calling his case “one of the most serious” they have ever seen.
“Sexual misconduct is a particularly serious form of misconduct because it involves breach of trust and abuse of patients (…). Mr. Anderson’s misconduct was at the most serious end of the spectrum because of the areas involved and the manner of touch,” the panel said.
In its investigation released in May, the panel found that between 2014 and 2016, Anderson touched the genitals of three female patients and the rectum of one male patient, without their consent. Anderson also failed to create and maintain proper records on all four patients, as well as one other one.
The panel further found Anderson provided misleading information to the college’s investigators when they began to look into complaints against him. He both withheld original records and falsified new ones, the college’s panel determined.
Under the college’s code of ethics, registered massage therapists are required to refrain from sexual misconduct, including “any form of consensual or non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature between an RMT and a patient, whether or not this occurs in the course of treatment.”
Anderson hasn’t been allowed to practice in B.C. since Feb. 1, 2019 when his registration was automatically cancelled after he failed to renew it. Following the panel’s Oct. 20 decision, Anderson is now banned from returning to practice until 2037. At that point, he will have to apply to be reinstated.
Anderson is also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a further $54,947 in costs to the college.