FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ — An unlicensed Fountain Hills massage therapist has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting several clients.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office reports that Monday night, they arrested 62-year-old Gary Wayne Nash at his office near Saguaro and Palisades boulevards on various charges, including sexual assault.
"It's disgusting, it's predatory and it's shameful," said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone. "He used his position, portraying himself as a medical expert for people in need, so he could victimize them as a sexual predator and also gain monetary value from the relationship."
According to MCSO, for the past seven years, patients have been going to Nash's business, Fountains of Youth Renewal Center, for colonics, massage therapy, and holistic treatments. Court records show that Nash never applied for, nor received credentials and licensing, to practice.
Nash was a self proclaimed Colon Hydrotherapist and operated out of a non-descript Fountain Hills building in the downtown area.
Detectives say four women have come forward accusing Nash of touching their breasts and genitals under the guise of "treatment" during sessions between February 2019 and February 2020. The fifth victim had seen Nash for several treatments in 2013, according to court records.
One of the victims told police that during a treatment, Nash kissed her on the forehead and told her, "This is a sacred relationship, what we do here is not inappropriate."
"He had a sound reputation in this field," said Penzone.
Detectives though, say he did not advertise his business in the community.
"He was trying to stay under the radar and it was strictly by referral," said Penzone.
Nash would charge clients tens of thousands of dollars for essential oils and "therapy" massages.
"We know that one victim paid what we believe is about $60,000 for his services," said Penzone. "He was very slow and methodical in his grooming."
"I think predators are very, very cunning and deceiving. And they can convince people just about anything they want them to," said Marilyn Kilmer, who lives in Fountain Hills.
Neighbors told ABC15 that Nash and his wife kept to themselves, but deputies were in front of the home Tuesday.
"[We] saw quite a few unmarked police cars, and equipment being taken out of the home," said a woman named Heather.
Nash is now facing 40 possible felonies, including sexual assault, fraud, and practicing medicine without a license. However, there may be more victims and felonies still to come.
"History shows us that five isn't where they stop," said Kilmer.