Massage therapist under suspicion of sexual misconduct is fired from clinic

June 18, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Days after state health officials suspended the license of Newcastle massage therapist Matthew E. Usher, his current employer, Elements Therapeutic Massage Issaquah, terminated him from its staff.

A charge of sexual misconduct with a patient at Newcastle’s Massage Envy led the state agency to immediately suspend his license.

Usher was criminally charged in King County Superior Court with indecent liberties, after he allegedly reached under the draping and touched a patient’s breast during a December 2012 massage treatment.

Usher began working at the Elements Therapeutic Massage in January, according to owner Glenda Sue Poletti. At the time of hiring, Usher was properly insured and licensed, she said.

“If someone does not have a license or liability insurance, we take them off the schedule until they get that sorted out,” she said. “In this situation, we did go ahead and terminate his employment.”

He worked at the Issaquah location for roughly six months, and never received any customer complaints, Poletti said.

“People loved him,” she said. “They were very comfortable with him. I myself have received a massage from him.”

Usher cannot practice massage in Washington until the charges are resolved. He has 20 days to respond to the charges and to ask for a hearing.

“There’s no question that the problem of legitimate massage therapy being tarred by the underworld of illicit massage parlors and that sort of thing, that does go on,” Poletti said. “We are very much trying to put forth a legitimate therapeutic, health care-related side of massage.”

According to court documents, Usher, 30, last lived in Maple Valley, and had worked at the Newcastle Massage Envy for six years.

The incident occurred in December 2012, and immediately after it happened, the Massage Envy owners told Usher that he “did not have a job there anymore,” according to court documents.

It was reportedly the second 90-minute massage that the patient had with Usher. The first one was described as “normal,” according to court documents.

Legal documents are available by clicking the link to “Look up a healthcare provider license” on the Department of Health website or by calling 360-236-4700.

The Department of Health protects and promotes public health, safety and welfare in Washington by regulating the competency and quality of health care providers.

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3 Responses to “Massage therapist under suspicion of sexual misconduct is fired from clinic”

  1. Woodbury Office Space Tenant Donna's Heavenly Massage Now Offers Pay … | Take care of yourself on June 21st, 2013 6:39 am

    [...] Massage therapist under suspicion of sexual misconduct is fired from clinic Days after state health officials suspended the license of Newcastle massage therapist Matthew E. Usher, his current employer, Elements Therapeutic Massage Issaquah, terminated him from its staff. A charge of sexual misconduct with a patient at … Read more on Issaquah Press [...]

  2. T.M on July 27th, 2014 8:36 am

    I am also a license massage therapist and female.
    Love my profession and in to it with my heart, since 1998.
    I have helped so many healing and have many long time followers.
    Never once have any complaints not getting into any kind of trouble with the laws in my whole life. Although majority of male clients always misbehaved and I have thrown out many, I try hard always to be decent n deliver my best quality of work.

    Recently I got a misdemeanor charge and my heart so broken. No convictions yet as am waiting for my next court date and my license is temporally n currently suspended. It is so very damaging, personally and financially. I am so hurt and lost.

    Anyone ever feel for us, therapists and what we have to deal with male clients in our profession ?

  3. T.M on July 27th, 2014 11:52 am

    Massage therapists are also and can be Victims.
    Lies, accusations, allegations, made up stories are always awaiting us. There shall be a law to protect us therapists and number one is a State Massage Council should Not put any licensee under suspension until one is clearly guilty and convicted.
    Thank you for this opportunity to speak.

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