Key West, Fla.
— Key West massage therapist Daniel Lutz has been accused of using an illegal program called “Bareback Massage” in which clients pay thousands of dollars to have their muscles “re-trained” to look better for the next time they visit the spa.
Lutz, who has been operating the spa in Key West since 1999, was arrested Wednesday and charged with three felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison.
Key West police chief Tim O’Connor said the charges were based on complaints that Lutz and his staff regularly engaged in an unlicensed massage practice in the spa, where he was the manager.
O’Donnell said Lutz also had a relationship with another masseuse, who is also charged with endangering a child.
He said the relationship between the two masseuses and the spa ended in June of this year.
The former masseuse was released from jail on $100,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
O’tson said Lutzes massage therapy was illegal because it involved the use of “unlicensed” equipment.
The Florida Department of Health and Environmental Protection has said the practice is illegal.
“This type of practice has been a growing concern for us for a number of years,” O’Connell said.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Lutz for allegedly using an unapproved device that could cause injuries to children. “
If this behavior continues to be in place, then we’ll take action.”
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Lutz for allegedly using an unapproved device that could cause injuries to children.
Lutz is currently free on $500,000 cash bail.
He could not be reached for comment.
The Palm Beachers-based Key West-based Lutz opened the spa with a $3 million investment in 2004 and has since expanded to offer massage therapy services to thousands of clients.
The spa’s director of operations, Dr. Kevin Brown, told the Palm Beach Post in May that he has been working for Lutz since 2002 and said Luts masseuse used to work at his facility in the 1970s.
The Post reported Lutz began his massage therapy career in the early 1970s at a Key West hotel where he allegedly engaged in “surgical enhancement” of the body, the Post reported.
Brown told the Post he believes the masseuse began working at Lutz’s facility in 1992, when Lutz was manager.
Brown said Luttz began to massage clients in the 1990s at his office in Key Biscayne, and he said the masseuses training consisted of performing massages on clients and then “taping them to make them look better.”
The Post wrote in May of that time that Luttis massage therapy had also been linked to alleged abuse of children.
The clinic’s website claims Lutz works with more than 20 different massage therapists and said the company’s goal is to provide “the most compassionate, caring, and effective service possible to the clients.”