THE New Westminster Police Department Major Crime Unit arrested an adult male masseur after an allegation of sexual assault during a massage.
In July, an adult female New Westminster resident was receiving a massage at the Healthland Clinic located in the 500-block of 6th Street. The male masseur allegedly sexually assaulted her during the treatment.
New Westminster Police detectives identified and arrested the male masseur, who has since been released with charges of sexual assault being recommended to Crown counsel.
“Investigators believe there may be additional victims who have not yet come forward,” said Sgt. Jeff Scott on Thursday. “It is important to know, if you have been a victim of sexual assault, you will be heard, and we will ensure you are offered resources and ongoing support.”
Anyone with more information, or who may have been a victim of a similar offence is asked to contact the New Westminster Police at 604-525-5411.
In January, alleged sexual assaults had also occurred at the Healthland Clinic located in Surrey which prompted Surrey RCMP to issue a media release about their ongoing investigation. In that case, the suspect has been released from custody with conditions for an upcoming court appearance.
The New Westminster Police Department has a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to provide a victim-centered approach. The unit was created in 2018 to exclusively investigate sexual assaults. It consists of one community-based counselor and one police detective. This team ensures a safe place for a survivor to tell their story. Importantly, the survivor guides the process and can choose to work exclusively with the community counselor or both the counselor and the detective. The survivor also receives assistance and updates from the NWPD SIU beginning at the time of reporting, through to the end of the process, and regardless if it takes place inside or outside of the courts. Ensuring the use of trauma-informed practice, the New Westminster Police strives to serve the community by providing support during a police investigation and court proceeding.