SALEM — Salem Health Officer Brian Lockard went to The Mall at Rockingham Park yesterday after news broke of a sexual assault charge against a masseur who had been working in a business there.
Lockard said he met yesterday with Mei Zhou, owner of GMG Health Power in the mall. Xijing Geng, 50, of Salem apparently was practicing massage therapy at Zhou's business at the time of his arrest Monday.
Geng was not licensed as a massage therapist by the state Department of Health and Human Services, according to John Martin, the manager of the Bureau of Licensing and Certification for the department.
Lockard said yesterday that Geng also did not have a local massage therapist license as required by the town of Salem.
"I met with (Zhou) and mall management, and hand-delivered her an order to cease and desist using any unlicensed therapists," Lockard said yesterday.
Zhou does have an establishment license, also required by the town of Salem, and has two licensed massage therapists working at her business, Lockard said.
He said there were some previous issues at GMG Health Power, perhaps the result of miscommunication. He did a site inspection in July and issued an establishment license July 21. Lockard said Geng is no longer employed at GMG Health Power and no male massage therapists are licensed to practice there.
The business is in compliance now, Lockard said, "as long as they utilize licensed therapists and that will be monitored."
He said he would continue to review the issue and contact police about it. Geng turned himself in to Salem police Monday, several days after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a sex assault charge.
On June 30, a 22-year-old woman called police to report she had been sexually assaulted after she fell asleep during a 60-minute massage at GMG Health Power.
She told police she awoke to find her shorts pulled down and the masseur licking her breast. Police collected evidence, including DNA swabs, and issued an arrest warrant for Geng after they received state laboratory results Sept. 1.
Geng is free on $10,000 personal recognizance. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 18 in Salem District Court.