Massage therapist facing criminal charges
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Henderson, NV (KTNV) -- You go in for a relaxing massage and come out the victim of a sexual assault.
Contact 13 discovered that's happening more and more often.
Chief Investigator Darcy Spears has been working with the state to help give victims a voice.
"I'm in a room with no cameras, no one there, no way, not knowing what to do, feeling that maybe I did something wrong to allow this guy to do what he did to me," said a woman we'll call "Dawn," who asked us to protect her identity.
Her story, according to the state, is all too familiar.
"Victims of sexual assault very rarely complain. They will believe that it didn't happen, what did I do, no one's going to believe me," said Lisa Cooper, executive director of the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists.
And though there's been a sharp rise in the number of complaints to the state board, Cooper said, "I believe that it suggests that it's been going on all along, it's just that people are now becoming aware that we're available to them."
Take the case of James Brian Goins, who went from masseur to mugshot as a result of his encounter with Dawn.
Goins is in the midst of his journey through the justice system. He's facing charges of open or gross lewdness in Henderson Justice Court.
According to the District Attorney, they're working on a possible plea deal. His case is due back in court in March.
Dawn's experience with Goins was last August, "I have been so freaked out ever since."
He was her therapist at Massage Heights on South Eastern in Henderson.
She said everything was fine during a previous massage with him, but the last time, it got weird when he started asking questions.
She recalls him asking, "Do you know women that don't have breast exams end up with cancer and this is how they don't know about cancer?" He said, "Would you like me to massage your chest?"
She said no, but, "Next thing I know is I had felt his hand cupped underneath my breast and a pinch on my nipple."
At that point, she started to get really scared.
"I went to sit up. He pulled his hands back and says you're not done yet and relax and had his hands around my neck. If I was to sit up and scream at him, who's to say he wouldn't choke me?"
She said it got worse from there, "And as he went to go underneath my underpants, I pulled my leg away from him."
She finally got out and later notified Massage Heights management and Henderson Police.
"I have a feeling he's done this to other people but they're too scared to come forward."
State records show she's right.
Less than two weeks before her massage, Goins faced much more serious accusations after an out-call massage at his home in a complex on Silverado Ranch.
Contact 13 has learned Goins was not licensed for out-call massage.
Though that is permitted in Clark County, therapists are not allowed to provide massage out of their own homes.
What you're about to read is one reason why.
In a complaint to the state board, the client who went to Goins' home said he massaged her breast, sexually assaulted her with his fingers and performed oral sex on her.
She wrote, "I was in shock and feared for my life so I said nothing. I was just frozen."
Metro wouldn't take a report because, "It did not meet the elements of a sexual assault as the victim never told the suspect to stop."
"It is a huge violation to a person to be inappropriately touched," said Lisa Cooper. "A client needs to know that they have the power in the massage room to say, I'm not comfortable with that or I want you to stop doing that."
Contact 13 spoke to Goins on the phone. He said he'd call back but never did.
Massage Heights had its lawyer return our initial call, but she didn't call back to comment either.
Goins surrendered his state license in October while under investigation by the board. He denied the allegations, but admitted the charges filed by the board "may be proven by substantial evidence" at a hearing.
As for Massage Heights, Cooper said, "There is no set guideline for the establishments. We don't have an establishment license so there is no recourse for us to go back to the establishment."
But as we've reported, they do have recourse to go after individual therapists.
If you believe you've been the victim of inappropriate conduct during a massage, the state board wants to hear from you.
Their contact information is: