The regulatory body that oversees massage therapists in British Columbia is seeking to prevent one of its former members from ever identifying – or providing services – as a registered massage therapist again.
Matthew Arie Romyn, who became a registrant of the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC) in 2007, practised in the Comox Valley and was convicted of five counts of sexual assault in 2013. He was sentenced to nine months in jail, followed by two years of probation.
In 2015, the CMTBC found that Romyn committed professional misconduct and reprimanded him. However, in an Oct. 5, 2021 filing to the B.C. Supreme Court, the CMTBC alleges Romyn offered to provide massage therapy services to parent chaperones of a school field trip to a fish hatchery in Courtenay on Oct. 11, 2019.
Additionally, he provided business cards listing him as a registered massage therapist, despite no longer being a registrant of the CMTBC, they added.
In their court filing, the CMTBC noted they received a complaint from a member of the public in relation to the business cards.
“Reserved titles afford a means for consumers to identify the different types of health care providers, to distinguish the qualified from the unqualified and to differentiate those practitioners who are regulated from those who are not. They are ultimately meant to protect the public,” cited the CMTBC in reference to case law in their petition.
They added injunctive relief is available and appropriate to protect the public from being further misled by Romyn.
In the CMTBC disciplinary hearing in 2015, Romyn testified he attended a once-a-week rehabilitation program for sex offenders for eight weeks between February and April 2014 before being released from prison.
He was released on June 4, 2014 and at the time said he was not pursuing massage therapy as a career.
As a result of his conviction for sexual assault, Romyn also testified that he will be on the sexual offender registry program for the next 20 years.
Romyn said due to his criminal conviction and being on the sex offender registry, his employment prospects are limited, and at the time, worked as a part-time pizza delivery driver. Additionally, he also did some unlicensed massage therapy work for male clients only, after providing what he described as “full disclosure” of his conviction, and he had not used the term ‘massage therapy’ and had not described himself as a massage therapist.
The three-member panel reprimanded and fined Romyn $25,000.
Attempts to reach Romyn for comment were unsuccessful.
The allegations against Romyn in the CMTBC’s petition have not been proven in court.