The Washington State Department of Health has suspended the credentials of a Clark County massage therapist, who is accused of inappropriately touching two female clients, pending the outcome of his criminal case.
Battle Ground’s Eddie Dean Anzalone, 48, was formally charged April 9 with second-degree rape and indecent liberties without forcible compulsion in Clark County Superior Court. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 21.
“Anzalone cannot practice massage in Washington until the charges are resolved,” according to a health department news release. “He has 20 days to request a hearing to contest the charges.”
Anzalone was employed at Opdahl Chiropractic and Massage, 105 N. Parkway Ave., Battle Ground, but quit on March 1 after a client lodged a complaint against him with one of the business’ owners, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Superior Court.
The victim said that during a Feb. 27 treatment session, Anzalone placed his face “extremely close” to hers, making her feel uncomfortable. He then moved his hands under the towel covering the woman, massaged her breasts and asked, “Do you like it?” the affidavit says. The woman said no, brought her arms up to protect herself and ended the appointment. She asked to see another massage therapist for future appointments and lodged a complaint over the phone, court records state.
When the owner, Monique Opdahl, questioned Anzalone about the allegations, he didn’t deny them, she said. He subsequently quit, according to court documents.
Investigators learned of a second victim while interviewing Monique Opdahl on March 8. Another client came into the clinic for one of her last appointments and learned Anzalone wasn’t there anymore. She wondered if he had been fired for inappropriately touching another client and then disclosed her complaint to the owner, court records say.
During a Feb. 15 session, Anzalone brushed over the victim’s vaginal area, over the towel, with both hands. At first she thought it was a mistake, she said, but then during a Feb. 22 session, he inappropriately touched her vagina, the affidavit says.
At his first court appearance, Anzalone’s attorney said his client plans to fight the charges. Anzalone has no prior criminal history. He posted bail following his hearing and remains out of custody, court records show.
“The Department of Health and Board of Massage protects and promotes public health, safety and welfare in Washington by regulating the competency and quality of health care providers,” the news release states. “The agency establishes, monitors and enforces qualifications for licensing, consistent standards of practice, continuing competency mechanisms and discipline. Rules, policies and procedures promote the delivery of quality health care to people in Washington.”