Archive for  April 11th 2019

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WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa– A massage therapist is free on bond Wednesday, after being accused of sexually assaulting a female client.

Sixty-four year-old Kevin Thoren rented his business space called Banyan Health and Wellness in a Windsor Heights strip mall.  It’s there a woman tells police she was assaulted.

“I would have never expected it,” former co-worker Kelly Patterson-Brown said.

Ex-massage therapist Kevin Thoren rented his space in the same building as Kelly Patterson-Brown.

According to the criminal complaint, Thoren groped a woman during a professional massage back in November.

We took that complaint to Thoern who lives in Ankeny, he wouldn’t do an on-camera interview but did deny the allegation.

The criminal complaint says three months after that massage, Thoren went to police and denied the woman’s claims.

Thoren said he was performing “energy work” and never goes below the pubic bone, but the woman said during the massage she was terrified.

Patterson-Brown says her heart breaks for the victim.

“Well I feel bad, now she is not going to trust anybody or a massage therapist,” Patterson-Brown said.

Thoren shouldn’t have been giving massages anyway.

A couple months before the alleged assault, Thoren surrendered his massage therapy license after The Iowa Board of Massage Therapy launched an investigation over claims of misconduct.

Patterson-Brown says Thoren’s actions to not represent all massage therapists.

“I want people to think this is a safe and comfortable place to come to and not have to worry,” Patterson-Brown said.

The YMCA of Greater Des Moines says Thoren rented a space in one of their facilities from 2009 to January 2017, and over that time, no complaints filed.

Thoren is scheduled to be back in court on April 19.

We reached out to The Iowa Board of Massage Therapy for comment and haven’t heard back.

 

WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa — Big things come in small packages.  “It is a critical tool for our officers to have that to save a life,” said Windsor Heights Police Chief Chad McCluskey.

The Iowa Department of Public Health received an additional allocation of $2.3 million dollars for a state opioid response grant and they hope to supply every law enforcement agency, city, town, tribal police officer or county sheriff’s deputy with two doses of Narcan.  IDPH Opioid Treatment Program Director Kevin Gabbert said, “If all six thousand officers were to come forward, we’d be looking at about $450,000 for that purchase and we are willing to do that because we do have grant funds available.”

The IDPH says opioid involved deaths have dropped from 206 in 2017 to a preliminary 137 in 2018 and they believe increased availability of Narcan to the public has helped.  “We don’t want to lose any more Iowans,” said Gabbert.

Police are often the first to encounter a victim of an opioid overdose and Chief McCluskey and his department were in the process of purchasing kits for their officers.  “We don’t currently have it.  We just wrote a new policy to cover it within the last couple of months,” said McCluskey.

Until the initiative, police departments across the state could buy Narcan kits from the IDPH for $75 a kit.   Now that money can be used elsewhere for cash strapped departments across the state.  McCluskey said, “When we build budgets we try to plan for what is going to come up and something like this, where I need fifteen to twenty at $75 a piece, that is a chunk out of my budget not planned for at the time.”

In less than 24 hours, it’s reach has branched out.  “We had a call from the Department of Natural Resources and they said we have individuals that come into contact with people whether it be in a park setting or things like that.  We’ve extended the opportunity to those individuals as well,” Gabbert said.

In March a Fort Dodge officer was unresponsive after being exposed to an unknown substance.  Narcan brought him back.  On Friday, April 5th an Iowa State Penitentiary staff member fell extremely ill from an unknown substance.  “That brings everything to a screeching halt when we get an officer, firefighter or medic injured as a result of a substance that somebody has,” said McCluskey.

Four milligrams, saving lives and dollars.  It is worth its weight in gold to have that stuff on board,” McCluskey said.