Victorians have been warned to be wary of a message therapist accused of raping and sexually assaulting several female clients.
Massage therapist Michael Allwood has been charged with sexual offences against eight clients, prompting the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner to issue a public service warning against him on Thursday.
Allwood was arrested at a business in the regional town of Maryborough, north of Melbourne, in August this year.
Police at the time alleged he assaulted two women during a massage at the Maryborough premises between January and June and he was charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.
The commissioner, Adjunct Professor Bernice Redley, began investigating Allwood on August 10 in light of the allegations, before receiving information the massage therapist was charged with sexual offences against the further six clients.
Prof Redley slapped Allwood with an interim prohibition order on August 15, noting he trades as "Massage by Michael of Maryborough Victoria", "Personal Training 1 to 1", "Stronger with a Coach Personal Training" and '"Body Core Flexibility".
The prohibition order banned him from providing general health services, including massages.
Allwood has since been hit with another prohibition order, which is due to expire in January next year.
The commissioner believes Allwood contravened rules set out in the health legislation code of conduct and published the warning "to avoid an imminent and serious risk to the life, health safety or welfare of the public".
While most general health service providers do the right thing, the actions of those who don't - such as Allwood - can cause serious harm to the public, the complaints commissioner said.
"That is why it is important for any person considering engaging with providers such as Mr Allwood to give great consideration as to what can go wrong and what they have a right to expect from their health service provider so that they can make fully informed decisions," Prof Redley said.
The warning should serve as a reminder to all general health service providers that if they don't observe the code of conduct rules, the commissioner's office will investigate them, the commissioner said.