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CMTBC statement on Times-Colonist story on Martin Contreras Ramirez

On July 20, 2017, Victoria’s Times-Colonist ran a news story under the headline: “Massage therapist jailed for sexual assault of client”. According to the story, Martin Contreras Ramirez was sentenced to one year in jail for sexually assaulting a female client.

CMTBC (College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia) is the body that regulates the registered massage therapy profession in BC. CMTBC wishes to make it clear that Mr. Contreras Ramirez is not, and never has been, a registrant of CMTBC. It is therefore incorrect to refer to him as a massage therapist or registered massage therapist, as these are titles reserved by law for the exclusive use of CMTBC registrants by regulations made under BC’s Health Professions Act.

For this reason, CMTBC is also concerned about the reference to “registered massage certificates” in the Times-Colonist’s story, since the use of this phrase could mislead members of the public to assume that Mr. Contreras Ramirez was a registrant of CMTBC.

The status of a registered massage therapist (RMT) can be verified by searching CMTBC’s Public Register. A person who is not listed on the Public Register is not an RMT in British Columbia.

While unregistered individuals have been legally entitled, since 2015, to perform massage, they are not permitted to refer to themselves as massage therapists, registered massage therapists or RMTs. Any member of the public who has information that an unregistered individual is or may be describing themselves as a massage therapist, registered massage therapist (RMT), massage practitioner, or registered massage practitioner, is encouraged to contact CMTBC, which will investigate any such information.

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