August 21, 2019 2:59 pm
Updated: August 21, 2019 6:27 pm

Vancouver masseur charged over alleged sexual assault in client’s home

A file photo of a person receiving a massage.

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Vancouver police have arrested a local masseur after an alleged sexual assault at a client’s home last week.

Police said Wednesday an investigation was launched after a woman in her 30s reported she had been assaulted by a massage worker who came to her downtown home for a session.

A suspect, identified as 33-year-old Alexander Varfolomeev, was arrested on Tuesday and has been charged with sexual assault.

READ MORE: B.C. massage therapist suspended over alleged sexual misconduct, ‘non-therapeutic touching’

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Police say Varfolomeev was self-employed and connected with clients using an app called Soothe, which provides at-home and at-work massage sessions.

The company’s website says it conducts annual background checks on all its therapists, who are also “vetted by industry veterans” before they’re selected.

Soothe only allows registered massage therapists, bodyworkers and graduates or students of massage therapy programs to apply. It’s not yet known what Varfolomeev’s credentials or background are.

WATCH: (Jan. 13) B.C. judge criticizes VicPD Facebook post in acquittal of massage therapist on sex assault charges

The app is available in more than 60 communities across North America and major cities around the world.

Global News has reached out to Soothe for comment.

The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia says Varfolomeev is not a registered massage therapist. His name is not listed in the college’s database.

READ MORE: Former Vancouver registered massage therapist charged with allegedly sexually assaulting clients

Police say Varfolomeev was released on bail after his arrest, but has been ordered by the court not to provide massage or physical therapy to the public.

Anyone who may have further information that may be helpful to the investigation is asked to contact Vancouver police.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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