A Saanich massage therapist has been banned from practising for 25 years after he secretly videoed women undressing before their appointments.
Gilles-Phillipe (Phil) Lavoie agreed to a consent order that will cancel his license registration effective Jan. 13, along with the 25-year ban, after the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia pursued disciplinary action against him following an August 2020 incident.
Lavoie “intentionally and secretly” positioned a cell phone that was recording video in a treatment room so that its camera would face the area where the female patient was expected to disrobe. The phone captured the woman disrobing and the beginning of the massage. The incident happened at Tone Massage Therapy, the clinic where Lavoie worked at the time.
He was also convicted by the B.C. provincial court in June 2021 for secretly observing/recording nudity in a private place between March and August 2020. That charge related to his secret video recording, on his mobile phone, of the patient from the August 2020 incident and three other women, one of whom was also his patient.
Lavoie received a conditional sentence of six months and 18 months probation, with one of his conditions being that he couldn’t engage in paid massage therapy services.
Should he ever attempt to re-register after 25 years, Lavoie will be required to meet all legislative and bylaw requirements relating to B.C.’s Health Professions Act and the massage college, including those relating to good character.
“He will be required to satisfy the registration committee that his registration will not pose an undue risk to public health or safety or otherwise be contrary to the public interest,” the college’s decision states.
The now-former practitioner will also pay the college $2,500 for the costs of its investigation.
Lavoie first registered as a massage therapist in 2005. The massage college received a complaint about the videotaping incident one day after it happened and started its investigation days later. The college says Lavoie resigned his certification 18 days after he videoed the woman in August 2020.
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