A licensed massage therapist allegedly raped a customer during a session Monday at Tai Chi Acupuncture & Wellness Center in North Reading, and police believe there could be more victims, authorities said.
In a joint statement, Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan and North Reading Police Chief Michael Murphy identified the suspect as Daniel Feener, 35, of Peabody. A lawyer for Feener couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Feener was arraigned Tuesday in Woburn District Court on charges of rape and indecent assault and battery, officials said. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and he was ordered held pending a dangerousness hearing slated for Friday.
“On Monday, October 14, the victim, an adult female, who is not known to the defendant, came to the Tai Chi Acupuncture & Wellness Center in North Reading for a scheduled massage,” the statement said. “The victim requested a massage focusing on her shoulders and back. At some point during the massage the defendant allegedly began touching the victim inappropriately and proceed to assault her before also placing her hand on him. The victim allegedly asked the defendant to stop and subsequently reported the assault to North Reading Police.”
Because of the nature of the alleged assault, the statement said, police “believe there may be other individuals who may have been victimized by the defendant.”
Authorities said they believe “Daniel Feener, who goes by ‘Daniel’ at work, completed massage school in 2018 and is licensed with the state of Massachusetts. Feener has reportedly worked at Tai Chi Acupuncture & Wellness Center in North Reading for several months as a per diem employee and it is not yet known if Feener has worked in other area massage or wellness centers.”
Police, the statement said, “are asking any member of the public who may have been a client of Daniel Feener’s . . . and believe there was inappropriate or indecent behavior while services were being delivered to them, to contact North Reading Police [or] North Reading Detectives @ 978-357-5067 or 978-657-tips or submit a tip through anonymous text through NRPD.org.”
Feener received his license as a massage therapy practitioner in July, and the license is set to expire on Sept. 28, 2020, according to the state Board of Registration of Massage Therapy.
In March, he posted a photo to Facebook of him standing with four smiling women during his massage school graduation.
“Graduation day is finally here!” Feener wrote. “Thank you to those who helped me along the way, I could not have reached this day without you! This truly has been a life changing step and I cannot wait to see what else this new path reveals. Thank you Spa Tech Institute School of Massage, Polarity, & Aesthetics for being my foundation when I had none. I can now proudly say that I am confident in my abilities and I’m ready to take on the world!”
Tai Chi Acupuncture & Wellness Center says on its website that its goal is to “create healthier and happier people by providing quality care and alternative healing therapies to those in need. While there will always be a place for Western Medicine, we take a different approach to health and wellness.”
In a statement, the center said that the “safety, care and comfort of our clients is at the core of our business. We were shocked to learn of the arrest of one of our therapists. We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement authorities. As the matter is under investigation, we are unable to provide further details.”