Lee County Sheriff’s Office SVU detectives arrested 70-year-old Barry Gould on Saturday on sexual assault charges.
Authorities say Gould was an independently contracted massage therapist at Armando’s Day Spa on Fort Myers Beach. During a massage session, they say he inappropriately touched a client.
Colleagues who work with him at the spa say they were shocked. They say that because Gould was an independent contractor, they would call him in to do massages from time to time. But, that they only ever had positive reviews about him.
No one at Armando’s Day Spa could imagine that anyone they work with would ever violate a client.
Colleen LoRae is the spa’s manager and an esthetician. LoRae says she asked Gould to do a massage in the room next to her on Saturday.
“When the client came out I asked how her massage was. She said it was fine. She gave a very nice tip, so I had absolutely no clue that anything was wrong until a sheriff’s deputy came in asking if he worked there,” she said.
LoRae says she was surprised to find out that Barry Gould had been arrested and was accused of inappropriately touching a client, all while she was just in the next room.
“I’m totally shocked. We all are. I cried when I even heard what she said happened,” LoRae said.
After the incident, deputies were able to locate Gould at the Community Outreach Center on Fort Myers Beach. They collected his DNA and arrested him.
People in the community were also shocked that this would happen. Gabriel Alwin is from Port Charlotte. “There’s probably a prison so somewhere with his name on it that he should be in,” Alwin said.
Grace Gilmore is visiting Fort Myers Beach. “It breaks my heart to hear that those people who were affected by that and went through situations where they just thought they were safe going to get a massage,” said Gilmore.
Armando’s Day Spa has strict rules about keeping clients covered and making sure they are comfortable during the messages.
They say that was Gould’s last time setting foot inside any of their massage rooms. “He will never work here again. I mean we won’t ever be calling him, obviously,” said LoRae.
Gould is being held on $50,000 bond.